How Governments Around the World Should Respond to the Mounting Costs of Gene and Cell Therapy?
As major pharmaceutical companies are investing more in new and novel medical technologies, the concept of precision medicine is becoming increasingly popular. At the same time, gene and cell therapies are becoming ever more costly due to their complex and capital-intensive manufacturing processes and consequent difficulties in reducing costs.
Take Gilead's Hepatitis C drug Sovaldi and its successor Harvani for example, their prices forced the FDA to hold congressional hearings, reviews and discussions on whether the US health insurance can continue to afford such high prices for drugs. With the development of gene and cell therapy, it is likely that the same scrutiny will be imposed again if the prices stay high. Therefore, it is hoped that the major pharmaceutical companies will consider the feasibility of affordability for the public or the government when setting prices of new gene and cell therapies in order to avoid the same issue, otherwise they may face a difficult barrier to break through when promoting their drugs in the future.