Cigna rolls out plan to fully cover expensive gene therapies

Alia Paavola - Print  | 

Health insurer Cigna introduced a plan Sept. 5 to fully cover the cost of expensive gene therapy treatments for patients. 

Gene therapies, which aim to treat diseases by manipulating genes, offer promise in curing hard-to treat disease, but they're expensive, some costing millions of dollars. 

Under Cigna's plan, members will have no out-of-pocket payments related to the cost of medicine.

The first two gene therapies to be included in Cigna's program are Luxturna, a one-time $850,000 treatment for an inherited form of blindness, and Zolgensma, a one-time $2.1 million treatment for spinal muscular atrophy. 

Additional therapies may be added to the program later, the insurer said.

Cigna plans to use the expertise of its pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts, which it bought for $54 billion last year, and its specialty pharmacy arm, Accredo. 

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