Friday, December 8, 2023

The Obligation of Academics in Creating Affordable Healthcare

    In the article published in Nature by multiple experts in law and medical ethics, the topic of academic medical institutions and their role in creating affordable access to medication was discussed. They discuss the annual costs for gene therapy in the treatment of rare diseases. Therapies discussed range from costing between $300,000 per year and over $3,000,000 per year. 
    The article discusses the fact that many of these technologies first come into being in academic laboratories often funded by public sources. Once these technologies are developed and patented, they are often then licensed to biopharmaceutical companies who in turn charge exorbitant prices for therapies that were initially developed using taxpayer dollars. Because of this, the article calls into question the ethics of this arrangement between universities and companies, concluding that universities are not only partly responsible for the high costs of these therapies, but also have an obligation to mitigate these costs.
    I find this article to be interesting because it places blame on the academic institutions involved in the system. The arguments posed have merit, but one has to consider that these universities are simply operating under the system imposed by monopolization of patents and market exclusivity. While it is important to understand that these institutions have a moral obligation to not contribute to the increase in medical costs, it is also incredibly pertinent to recognize that the system as a whole does not allow for bespoke treatments of rare diseases to be affordable no matter the effort these universities put in to lowering costs.


Expensive medication I take:,on%20the%20pharmacy%20you%20visit.


  1. Healthcare is undoubtedly very expensive globally and as such, the issue of affordable healthcare has always been a point of concern. I never knew that the cost of gene therapies was that huge. Wow! that's a lot of money.

  2. Medical treatments in general are expensive and that’s even if you can afford health insurance. Before the Affordable Care Act was put into effect, over 40 million Americans were without health insurance (small businesses and similar jobs normally don’t offer coverage). With that stated, treatments for rare genetic diseases must be excruciatingly difficult to even think about.