The Daunting Economics of Therapeutic Genome Editing

CRISPR J. 2019 Oct;2(5):280-284. doi: 10.1089/crispr.2019.0052.


There is no shortage of enthusiasm for the clinical potential of CRISPR-based genome editing: many life-changing cures appear to be just around the corner. However, as mature genetic therapies reach the market, it seems that million-dollar price tags are the new normal. Several factors contribute to the extreme pricing of next-generation medicines, including the need to recoup development costs, the undeniable value of these powerful therapies, and the inherent technical challenges of manufacture and delivery. CRISPR technology has been hailed as a great leveler and a democratizing force in biomedicine. But for this principle to hold true in clinical contexts, therapeutic genome editing must avoid several pitfalls that could substantially limit access to its transformative potential, especially in the developing world.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • CRISPR-Cas Systems
  • Gene Editing / economics*
  • Gene Editing / ethics
  • Genetic Engineering / economics*
  • Genetic Engineering / ethics
  • Genetic Therapy / economics
  • Genome
  • Genome, Human / genetics
  • Genomics / economics
  • Genomics / ethics
  • Germ Cells / metabolism
  • Germ Cells / physiology
  • Humans