Gene Therapy Can Cure But Pharma is Addicted to Not Curing Diseases

New Gene Therapies can start truly curing diseases but Big Pharma is addicted to decades of revenue for not curing diseases. It has been decades since the true age of medical cures with vaccines and antibiotics. The last fifty years has been dominated by increasingly expensive treatments that provide symptomatic relief for chronic conditions. The conditions were chronic because the medicine was not providing true cures. The new gene therapies and biotechnologies can fix the root causes of disease with a single dose. The correct genetic material is introduced into the patient’s cells. The treatments can replace a lifetime of conventional costly drugs. This is a problem for Big Pharma which wants to keep a lifetime of payments from patients. Pharmacy giant Novartis has proposed pricing gene therapies installment payments instead of one time fees. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration forecasts as many as 20 cell- and gene-therapy approvals each year by 2025. The Institute for Clinical Economic Review has made the case that Novartis’s Zolgensma (a treatment for Spinal Muscular Atrophy) could be priced for as much as $1.5 million — and as little as $310,000. Novartis argues that each treatment is worth $5 million and they want to charge at least $2 million. Novartis has also proposed installment payments over five years. They would offer reimbursement if a patient dies or the treatment otherwise fails within that period. Drug-cost authorities in Britain and Canada are working with ICER to test new methods for valuing potential cures. There needs to be fair pricing with reasonable profit for the companies and fair prices for patients and the medical system. There are two charts of overall healthcare spending from HealthSystemTracker. Usually prescription drugs are about ten percent of overall medical costs. The answer to these pricing problem are: 1. There needs to be multiple source for each medical cure so that there is competitive pricing. 2. The system needs to wean the companies off of overcharging. 3. The reliability of the gene therapy cures has and the processes for developing the cures needs to be made reliable. 4. As the age of medical cures develops, then new providers will need to transform to providing effective and efficient platforms for cure generation and then being able to offer medical enhancements that people will want to keep buying.

SOURCES- Health System Tracker, ICER, Bloomberg

Written By Brian Wang,

21 thoughts on “Gene Therapy Can Cure But Pharma is Addicted to Not Curing Diseases”

  1. Ok, we know they want to make money and not have their parents run out in 17 years (10 of which probably have already passed as they trialed it).
    So let’s be smart. The treatment is for life.
    So they should ask for a low monthly payment, for life. Or 50 years.
    This would give them firm financial footing and keep them off the rollercoaster of going from max profit to no profit every time a patent runs out.
    And before you flip out on me for suggesting payments for life, I have people in my family with genetic conditions. Unless they come up with a stable business plan, they will not push forward and cure these people.
    Anyone who had seen the documentary Burzinsky knows just how far they will go to keep that money machine rolling….

  2. Having spent a bit of time (mostly not as a patient thankfully) in Australian hospitals, I noticed very strongly that everything was tiles steel and glass.

    This is precisely because it’s easier to clean and disinfect.

    One huge disadvantage is that hospitals are so very noisy. The sound of that metal cart filled with glassware echoes down the corridor and into every room. You wouldn’t want to need to sleep or anything.

  3. The very end of this series of posts got truncated. I only discovered it after posting the rest. So taking note of my comment below, to wit:

    “I’ve had to use five posts to get everything in that I had to say. So keep reading till you get to the end.”

    Here’s the final bit, out of order, but complete:

    Call me a cynic, but my conclusion when viewing all these facts, is that the pharmaceutical, medical, and insurance communities, as a consequence of a profit-driven business model — Is there any other? — have arrived at a “sweet spot”, where they keep you sick — not so sick that you can’t work — yet sick enough that you’re basically required to spend everything you earn trying in vain to recover your health.

    It wasn’t intentional. No one realized the consequences of antibiotic use — ie poisoning of the microbiome — over 65 years. Nevertheless the inexorable hand of the market led us to where we are today.

    The good news is that the discovery of the vital role of the microbiome in maintaining human health will shortly result in a very substantial Improvement in the health of nearly the entire population of the first world.  One can hope that most of the disease conditions of modern society, conditions we thought to be natural and tragically unavoidable, with the restoration of the human microbiome, will largely fade away. We will all soon be very healthy, and on the cheap, too.

  4. I’ve had to use five posts to get everything in that I had to say. So keep reading till you get to the end.


    Most C. diff infections — approximately 500,000 per year — occur in hospitals, to elderly patients who have received multiple doses of antibiotics over their lifetime. The obliteration of the human microbiome by antibiotics clears the way for opportunistic C. diff infection, which then kills between 25 & 30,000 people in the US each year, mostly elderly. Most of them acquire the infection in hospitals, post-surgery.

     My sympathy goes out to you for the loss of your godmother. But what I’m about to say will not make your loss any easier. Her death and the death of thousands of others has been completely unnecessary, its cause is completely understood, and its prevention immediately available, nearly free, and well known to the medical community. A microbiome transplant. Which results in almost immediate relief of symptoms, and cures c-diff infection with a 95% success rate.

    “What’s going on?”, you ask.

  5. For the last 75 years, since penicillin introduced us to the antibiotic age, the ever-increasing use of antibiotics has damaged or destroyed the microbiome of nearly the entire human population of the first world.

    Bacteria bad, antibiotics good, has been the mantra, and it has been wrong, dead wrong.  

    We have been poisoned my modern medicine. Poisoned so gradually that the cause of the decline of health of nearly the entire first world has remained a mystery. Rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, asthma, type 2 diabetes and the obesity that accompanies it, type 1 diabetes, … Virtually every autoimmune disease known to medical science is either caused by or has a substantial causal connection to the damaged human immune system, damage brought about by the destruction of the human microbiome.

  6. The bowel is an immune system organ!!!!

    “The intestine represents the largest compartment of the immune system.”

    The above is the first line of the abstract to:

    Regional specialization within the intestinal immune system

    Here’s the full abstract:

    “The intestine represents the largest compartment of the immune system. It is continually exposed to antigens and immunomodulatory agents from the diet and the commensal microbiota, and it is the port of entry for many clinically important pathogens. Intestinal immune processes are also increasingly implicated in controlling disease development elsewhere in the body. In this Review, we detail the anatomical and physiological distinctions that are observed in the small and large intestines, and we suggest how these may account for the diversity in the immune apparatus that is seen throughout the intestine. We describe how the distribution of innate, adaptive and innate-like immune cells varies in different segments of the intestine and discuss the environmental factors that may influence this. Finally, we consider the implications of regional immune specialization for inflammatory disease in the intestine.”

  7. And because the microbiome resides symbiotically in the gut, the poisoning of the microbiome has its most immediate and severe effect on gut health itself, where the antibiotic concentration (by oral administration) is highest: Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, irritable bowel syndrome, and C. diff. The gut is the home to the microbiome, and the gut is the first to suffer when its microbial symbiote population is poisoned.

    The gut microbiome has co-evolved with all living animals since the Cambrian explosion. This co-evolution has resulted in a mutualism, a symbiotic relationship where the host serves its microbial community, and the microbial community returns the favor by keeping the host in the peak of health.

  8. An ecological and evolutionary perspective on human-microbe mutualism and disease.


    Returning to the issue of medicine-for-profit leading to the destruction of human health,…

    The FDA is ***owned*** by big Pharma, in a textbook example of regulatory capture. When the vital role of the microbiome in maintaining human health became apparent around 2006, the FDA set out on a path to ban the preventative/curative use of microbiome transplant by any licensed medical. practitioner. In 2013, at the direction of the Pharmaceutical community, the FDA declared a ban on microbiome transplant, with the single exception of its use in the treatment of C. diff, where the indisputable evidence for a 95% cure rate made banning it for that application politically indefensible.  For all other therapeutic applications, a microbiome transplant was only available if it was being administered in the course of a clinical trial.

    Call me a cynic, but my conclusion when viewing all these facts, is that the pharmaceutical, medical, and insurance communities, as a consequence of a profit-driven business model — Is there any other? — have arrived at a “sweet spot”, where they keep you sick — not so sick that you can’t work — yet sick enough that

  9. I think part of the problem is that ALL companies now are run on a money for profit.

    Basically the same thing collages do. You show them you can get X for Y (Y being the amount of money) they calculate profit and give you the money if possible.

    However, chance of a ew medication to fight a disease is far easier than a maybe impossible cure.

    So no one will fund a cancer cure because it isn’t gonna make them money.

  10. Right, apparently it WAS better than existing medications, but not enough so to justify the expense of a biologic that had to be administered by IV on a regular basis. It wasn’t one of these cures the OP refers to, just a treatment.

  11. There was a study done in Sweden last year that showed type 2 diabetes is likely several diseases. It had to be done in Sweden, because T2 is such a gravy train here no one wants to rock the boat. In Sweden, the government is desperate for healthcare savings. As far as I know, there’s little research here for an actual cure, but lots on drugs to keep the chronic disease chronic.
    All you hear about is insulin resistance, but that only applies to some of the patients.

  12. You forgot infections that result because hospital rooms are now “homey” and are almost impossible to disinfect. Give me steel, tile, and glass furnishings, and autoclave my bedclothes, and mattress please.
    My godmother died of a C. Difficile infection after back surgery. There’s no excuse for a post surgery patient to be put into a room that is difficult to sterilize.

  13. If Lipitor sells for $10B/year and if Lipitor doesn’t do anything then they could charge even more for something that does work, surely?

    I don’t follow your logic.

  14. Must everything be a Lex Luther level conspiracy?

    Yes, the interest of money goes before all other concerns. It’s nothing personal, it’s just business, it’s the American way.

    “Hoping to develop a more effective treatment than their current product Lipator, Pfizer purchased and internalized Esperion shortly before JAMA published the results of the Apo A-1 Milano trial.
    On 22 December 2009 The Medicines Company announced it had entered into an exclusive worldwide licensing agreement with Pfizer Inc. for ApoA-I Milano which it then renamed MDCO-216. After a trial study failed to produce significant enough results compared to other drugs being tested, in 2016 The Medicines Company discontinued development of MDCO-216.”

    Meanwhile, at the Legion of Doom…

  15. Yep and that is why Pfizer spent 3.5 BILLION dollars cause they were too stupid to figure that before hand. ORRR They are blowing smoke up your arse so that you don’t see that millions have died for lack of effective treatment. THINK

  16. ApoA-I Milano? Supposedly dropped because it was too expensive to manufacture, and would have to be given by IV on a frequent basis.

  17. Pfizer bough a medicine out of phase II trials that removed 50% of plaque in artieries in one year. They paid 3.% billion for it and then killed it. They were selling Lipitor for 10 billion a year which does virtually nothing. Then ask yourself why insulin costs so much when it has been on the market for decades. The whores on capital hill are the main cause.

  18. It was laughably evil when, in the television show “Lois and Clark” in the early 90s, Lex Luthor decided to withhold a cure for cancer, that Lex Corp came up with, because he was making so much money from selling treatments.

    Now it’s not so laughable.

  19. Graphs of the total health care costs are not really relevant here, as only a fraction of the health care costs are pharmaceuticals. So much of the American health care bill is:

    • hospitals which have things like private rooms instead of wards
    • hospitals which have huge, highly paid, administration requirements
    • doctors earning very big money
    • health care education being classified as “health care expense” rather than “education expense” because it consists of professionals paying off their student loans
    • “defensive medicine” where the threat of litigation forces a lot of testing and treatment that isn’t medically justified
    • highly complex paperwork that often is done (legally) by people who should be doing surgeries or something
  20. Why do you expect anything will change? The patent holders got to charge any amount they wanted for their symptomatic relief treatments.

    “…Novartis argues that each treatment is worth $5 million and they want to charge least $2 million…”

    Gene therapy will be worth whatever amount of money their treatment patent holders want.

    The difference in health care costs between the USA and comparable countries is cultural, that remains the same no matter what new tech comes around.

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