The WHO Report and Access to Cancer Medicines

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Tue, Feb 05, 2019

The World Health Organization’s recently published report, “Pricing of Cancer Medicines and its Impacts,” has elevated the issue to the agenda of the WHO’s executive board and is likely to ignite a lot of debate and some potential actions. While the report raises some very legitimate concerns related to access to anti-cancer drugs for patients, it also falls short of understanding the pharmaceutical industry environment. Rather than simply blaming the industry, it would be more productive to understand what’s standing in the way of collaboration to address patient needs and then jointly try to develop realistic programs to resolve it.


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Paying for Gene Therapy

Posted by Ed Schoonveld on Wed, Jun 27, 2018

Recent advancements in gene and cell therapies have raised both excitement and anxiety in the global medical community. Luxterna (voretigene neparvovec-rzyl) and CAR-T therapies Kymria (tisagenlecleucel) and Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) have provided potential cures for a significant share of patients with just a single treatment. However, that single treatment, with amazing patient value delivered over years or even decades, also requires a single payment under our current healthcare funding mechanisms. This is causing some additional complexities in an already complex and sensitive prescription drug pricing environment.


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