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Imagining new pricing models for cell and gene therapies in the EU

Cell and gene therapies are emerging at full speed, showing the potential to transform the future of medicine, but traditional pricing models are unfit for accompanying this transformation. The evolution of medicine will walk hand-in-hand with a radical transformation of the healthcare systems. Outcome-based pricing models have already shown to be successful. Moving forward, new pricing models must increasingly be based on value, for the patient, the healthcare system, and society at large. This will require innovative minds to get together and a good amount of out-of-the-box thinking.

The EU represents an ideal environment to elaborate innovative pricing models for cell and gene therapy products. Admittedly, pricing of medicines is a national competence of the member states that is not attributed to the EU (although some intergovernmental initiatives involving joint price negotiations have been developed across Europe). This leaves the member states alone and unable to formally coordinate and draw from the best economic and scientific expertise at EU level.

However, the freedom of each member state to independently elaborate new pricing models may play in favor of the most progressive and innovative EU member states. These may include smaller EU countries (alone or jointly with others), which may emerge creatively, test ideas, and elaborate models that would make them more attractive for the life sciences industry and international investors. These models could then inspire pricing reforms in other EU member states.

The sooner the industry will be cohesive, the sooner governments will be on board, allowing the most creative ones to embrace innovative pricing models that will ultimately benefit European patients.

Today we are entering a new era in medicine with the emergence of highly effective and potentially curative cell and gene therapies. Cell and gene therapies present one of the greatest recent advances in modern medicine. We now have within our grasp medicines that can reverse congenital blindness, potentially cure some cancers and save children from certain death from genetic neurological conditions. These medicines are not just improving lives, they are saving them, and we are just at the beginning of the cell and gene therapy revolution in medicine. Yet, we face a fundamental challenge: how to pay for these therapies and make them available to patients in need.

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