The most expensive medicine ever approved

photo-1544829894-eb023ba95a38.jpeg
I heard a fascinating story from NPR last week. The Federal Drug Administration recently approved a new gene therapy that has a whopping $2.125 million dollar price tag. It’s the most expensive drug on the market.

The gene therapy is a treatment for a rare disease called Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA). According to the NPR story, SMA is “a rare disorder caused by a defective gene; the illness destroys the nerves that control muscles. Babies with the most severe form of the disorder typically don’t live past their second birthday.”

The new treatment is called Zolgensma, and its had good results in trials. SMA is a rare disease that impacts roughly 30 newborn babies each month. Zolgensma is a one-time treatment.

I return again to the price tag. $2.125 million.

It’s a huge price to save a life. I certainly think it’s worth it to save a child. I don’t even begrudge the drug company for the high cost. It costs money to develop treatments and it’s a rare disease. There does need to be an incentive to develop an effective treatment. These children have their whole lives ahead of them. It’s a blessing that we live in a time where these medical advances are possible.

There’s another reason why I find this story so interesting.

The value of life 

I find the story fascinating because it confronts us with an important ethical question. What is one life worth?

In the gospel, we see that God was willing to pay an infinite price. God so loved the world that he gave his only son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.

Jesus lived a perfect life, without sin, and he gave up his life so that a sinful humanity could be reconciled to God. We sin. Humanity is prideful to God, we lie, cheat, and steal. We think ill of others and often act selfishly. We don’t live up to our own standards, let alone to the standards of a perfect and Holy God. We sin and we continue to sin. We cannot pay off that debt because we keep adding to the tab. We cannot right the wrongs of our lives.

Is a life worth $2 million dollars?

Because of sin, $2 million couldn’t buy our lives. God himself had to pay the price for our lives by giving up his own life. That is the gospel. That the only way we could be forgiven by God was for God to die in our place.

How much is the human soul worth?

Jesus shows that it is bought at an infinite cost.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think, and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Josh Benner  has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.

Thanks for reading! I’d love to hear what you think, and don’t forget to subscribe! 

Josh Benner has a Master of Divinity from Trinity Evangelical Divinity School. He has served churches in Minnesota and Illinois. He enjoys writing about faith and culture. He lives with his wife Kari in St. Louis.



Categories: bioethics, Commentary, Culture, Ethics, Faith, Gospel, Theology

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: