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Medicaid, with planned payment pilot, girds for influx of pricey gene therapies

February 21, 2023

People with the blood disorder sickle cell are anticipating the arrival of two gene therapies that could dramatically reshape their disease, potentially offering something approaching a cure.

Insurers, too, are preparing for the treatments, which are expected to carry price tags in the seven figures. While five other expensive gene therapies are already available in the U.S., sickle cell is far more prevalent than the inherited diseases they treat, affecting an estimated 100,000 people in the country. Many are covered through Medicaid, the federal insurance plan for people with limited income

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