Spinraza (nusinersen) is the first drug approved to treat SMA, a rare, often fatal disease characterized by progressive muscle weakness and wasting. Spinraza is administered intrathecally — directly into the cerebrospinal fluid surrounding the spinal cord. It is also recommended that the patient be sedated, making it likely that the drug would usually be administered in a hospital or surgical center. It is most appropriately managed under the medical benefit.
Spinraza is priced at $750,000 for the first year and about half that for each subsequent year of therapy. It will not be covered under the pharmacy benefit, unless a client requests otherwise.