Finance, Health - Curing Patients Bad For Profits
The American multinational investment bank Goldman Sachs released a report questioning whether creating cures for diseases is good for a pharmaceutical or bio-tech company's bottom line.
The investment banks' report titled "The Genome Revolution" was released on 10 April. It asks: "Is curing patients a sustainable business model?" Goldman Sachs apparently believes the answer is "no".
Analyst Salveen Richter writes, "The potential to deliver 'one shot cures' is one of the most attractive aspects of gene therapy, genetically engineered cell therapy, and gene editing. However, such treatments offer a very different outlook with regard to recurring revenue versus chronic therapies." The report continues, "While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow."
The report cites Gilead Sciences' treatments for Hepatitis C, which achieved cure rates of 90 percent. For humanity, it's a great thing. For Goldman Sachs, it "has gradually exhausted the available pool of treatable patients". Gilead's US sales of the treatment were US$12.5 Billion in 2015, but the bank estimates they will be less than $4 Billion.
Goldman Sachs says cancer treatments - where the "incident pool remains stable" - are less risky for business.