Cell and gene therapy (CGT) can be a revolutionary tool to prevent, treat or even cure life-threatening diseases. Some 45 cell or gene therapies are available, and Economist Impact projects that by 2031 there could be 100 CGTs in America and 70 in the European Union.
Yet take-up of these therapies has been slow. Health systems need to keep pace with regulatory changes and advances in research by implementing policies that support sustainable adoption. CGTs typically differ from conventional therapies by being vastly more expensive yet providing a long-term benefit from one-time use. Hence if the therapies are to be adopted, health-care systems need to reconsider how they select the therapies and the process to pay for them.
Research by Economist Impact, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, notes that the strength of governance covering CGTs varies widely across countries. Although all the countries in the study have established horizon-scanning programmes to monitor emerging technologies before market authorisation, only four have programmes specifically focusing on CGTs. Effective and coherent policy is needed, and countries can benefit from working together to judge whether cell and gene therapies are right for patients.
Join Economist Impact and a panel of experts for a virtual event, sponsored by Gilead Sciences, to examine what developed countries can learn from each other on the benefits and challenges of CGTs?