Shortcomings of Gene Therapy - Reason 2 - The Healthcare System Cannot Afford the Cost
There are 7000 rare diseases and over 85 percent of these diseases have a genetic base. There are 30 million individuals in the US that suffer from a rare disease and 400 million suffer worldwide. Gene therapy was approved for the first time in the US to treat a rare genetic form of blindness and the cost of the treatment approaches 1 million dollars. The story is listed below.
Currently, less than 3 percent of rare diseases have viable treatments. It would cost 25 trillion dollars to treat the entire US population suffering from rare diseases with gene therapies.
This will never happen when our country has an existing 22 trillion dollar public debt and the current US healthcare cost is 3.2 trillion dollars according to a 2015 CDC report.
This is a major reason why the Institute prefers cell therapy over gene therapy. Cell therapy could theoretically repair and replace damaged cells regardless whether a disease is common or rare. Thus, the cost for treating a rare disease must be affordable, which can be accomplished by absorbing the economics with the treatment of common diseases.
See the below link to understand the cost of gene therapies.