April 24, 2019 / 1:00 PM / a year ago

CORRECTED-(OFFICIAL)-Novartis mulling $1.5 mln-$5 mln price range for SMA gene therapy

(Corrects quote in second paragraph to reflect that Novartis CEO misspoke and meant to use acronym for "Life Year Gained")

ZURICH, April 24 (Reuters) - Novartis Chief Executive Vas Narasimhan said on Wednesday that the Swiss drugmaker is examining a price range for its Zolgensma gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) of between $1.5 million and $5 million per patient.

"At a $500,000 per QALY cut-off, the medicine is cost-effective in the range of $4-$5 million, and at a $150,000 per LYG cutoff, it's cost-effective at a range of $1.5 million," Narasimhan told analysts on a call, using acronyms for quality-adjusted life year and life year gained that are used to help assess a treatment's value. "That's the range that we're looking at. That hopefully gives you some of the boundaries."

U.S. regulators are due to make a decision on approving Zolgensma next month. (Reporting by John Miller; Editing by Michael Shields)

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