Paying for Curative Therapies: Our Challenges in Addressing Medicine’s Solutions

In a commentary published in STAT, National Pharmaceutical Council Executive Vice President and Chief Science Officer Robert Dubois, MD, PhD, outlines some creative thinking behind how we could innovate payment models to finance curative therapies for cancers and other rare diseases.

Last month’s American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) meeting highlighted the next wave of cancer therapies, which includes transformative treatments that can be fully administered in just days or weeks. In some cases, certain cancers can be cured by a single infusion of immune cells.

But when a lifetime of benefit can be delivered in one fell swoop, we encounter new systemic challenges for paying for such groundbreaking therapies, Dr. Dubois explained. “We need to begin thinking creatively about this problem. At its broadest, solutions will focus on more closely linking payment for a curative therapy to the health benefits experienced over time…. But there is no question that the only way we can deliver on the promise of the next generation of curative therapies will be to tackle this question head on. Ignoring the problem because it is difficult only makes the situation worse down the road,” he wrote.

Read the full column at STAT.


This content was published as part of NPC's Going Below The Surface (GBTS) initiative, aimed at better understanding the nation’s health spending by promoting discussion firmly based in health policy and systems research.