by Karl Denninger, Market Ticker:
U.S. regulators have approved the most expensive medicine ever, for a rare disorder that destroys a baby’s muscle control and kills nearly all of those with the most common type of the disease within a couple of years.
The treatment is priced at $2.125 million. Out-of-pocket costs for patients will vary based on insurance coverage.
The medicine, sold by the Swiss drugmaker Novartis, is a gene therapy that treats an inherited condition called spinal muscular atrophy. The treatment targets a defective gene that weakens a child’s muscles so dramatically that they become unable to move, and eventually unable to swallow or breathe. It strikes about 400 babies born in the U.S. each year.
The Food and Drug Administration on Friday approved the treatment, called Zolgensma, for all children under age 2 who are confirmed by a genetic test to have any of the three types of the disease. The therapy is a one-time infusion that takes about an hour.
There is exactly no possibility that this drug could exist at that price in any sort of market economy. In fact without felony level abuses of the law it’s flatly impossible for such a price to be charged for this — or any other — treatment.
It does not matter if this treatment works or not. It does not matter if it is an actual cure for a disease.
None of that matters because the laws of economics prohibit this sort of price schedule without multiple felonies, specifically theft at gunpoint via law, being shoved down everyone’s throat.
It simply can’t happen, and it shouldn’t take more than seconds for you to figure it out — if you haven’t been dumbed down to the point of flat-out idiocy.
Simply put unless you can force someone other than the patient and their family to pay for this treatment there are an insufficient number of people who have or can finance a $2.125 million treatment for there to be any market for it. The odds of you both having a child afflicted with this condition and having $2.125 million you can either pay or finance is statistically indistinguishable from zero. With a statistically-zero base of potential customers such a price cannot exist since you would sell zero vials of said medication.
The only way such a price can be presented is if a person who suffers from such an affliction can force other people to pay for it. Since nobody will willingly fork up $2.125 million for someone else’s kid if “politely asked” it therefore follows that the only way that sort of price can exist is for the extraction of that money from others to be enforced by law at gunpoint.