Bloomberg Businessweek

How Much Is a Miracle Worth?

• New one-shot medicines could eliminate years of costly care

• “So $1 million upfront…that’s not much, if they’re healed for life”

Sofia Priebe, 14, is slowly going blind. Her parents were devastated when they were told there’s no treatment for the genetic mutation that’s causing her retinas to deteriorate. For the dozen years since Sofia received that diagnosis, her mother has lived every parent’s nightmare—being powerless to help her suffering child.

Now a gene therapy for a similar form of blindness is expected to receive U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval this year, and Laura Manfre, Sofia’s mom, is holding out hope that her daughter may soon get treatment as well. “We don’t really care what it costs,” she says.

But how much is a miracle really worth? A million dollars? Five million? More? And who will pay and

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