How do we value a cure?

Expert Rev Pharmacoecon Outcomes Res. 2015;15(4):551-5. doi: 10.1586/14737167.2015.1039519. Epub 2015 Apr 27.


Future perceptions of the value of curative therapies will likely reflect debates happening today about preferences for funding of preventive versus treatment programs, as well as funding orphan drugs. Little is known about how society will value curative therapies versus standard treatments, and the significant role of a host of psychological factors compared to overarching concerns about opportunity costs will likely lead to significant tension between payers and the public. More research to clarify societal preferences and healthcare goals in regards to curative therapies and in light of the potential for significant opportunity costs will be required. Given what we know about preferences for the funding of prevention and treatment measures, we should expect that cures will not be held to a different measure.

Keywords: consumer behavior/economics; diffusion of innovation; financial/economics; health; insurance; patient preference/economics; reimbursement; reimbursement mechanisms; risk sharing.

MeSH terms

  • Costs and Cost Analysis
  • Delivery of Health Care / economics*
  • Health Care Costs*
  • Humans
  • Orphan Drug Production / economics*
  • Preventive Medicine / economics
  • Primary Prevention / economics