Health Care

Breakthrough Cures, Blockbuster Costs: Future Directions

February 24, 2022  • Blue Cross Blue Shield Association & Health, Medicine & Society Program

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The Blue Cross Blue Shield Association and the Health, Medicine & Society Program of the Aspen Institute have published “Breakthrough Cures, Blockbuster Costs: Future Directions,” a framework for ensuring high-cost medicines for rare conditions are affordable and accessible to patients. The two organizations brought together leading health care, academic, government and patient advocacy experts to discuss the value of advanced therapies and how best to pay for them, and to identify key areas for further research. Advanced therapies are biomedical breakthroughs that often treat rare conditions and can transform or even save a patient’s life. However, these medicines tend to come with extremely high price tags — by 2031, as many as 90 gene and cellular therapies are expected to be approved for use by 550,000 patients, at an annual acquisition cost of $30 billion.