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We need to make sure new drug cures don’t widen income gap for the poor

Scott Gottlieb, M.D.

By Scott Gottlieb (Original source CNBC)

“Science offers the chance to cure debilitating and once-intractable disorders like hemophilia and sickle cell disease. But we need to make sure the ability to access these therapies, or the risk that someone can be locked out of them, doesn’t widen gaps between the rich and poor.

Many inherited disorders can perpetuate poverty by leading to disabilities that disrupt people’s ability to work. In turn, someone’s capacity to secure an effective new cure for these diseases can mean the difference between a life led productively, or one plagued by infirmity.

Gene therapies and other treatments that can cure — not just treat — disease are going to be expensive. All of the cost of innovating and reaping an economic return may need to be recouped in a single payment. Insurance pools that are on a fixed budget are going to struggle to make sure everyone living with a disease can be rapidly cured when a safe and effective treatment comes along.”

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