On Monday morning, Axios co-founder Mike Allen and Axios health care business reporter Bob Herman hosted a virtual event on the impact of the coronavirus on biomedical innovations and the challenges of making expensive treatments — like gene therapy — more accessible. They were joined by the U.S. FDA's Director of the Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research Dr. Peter Marks, Rep. Scott Peters (D-Calif.) and Real Endpoints EVP & Chief Clinical Officer Dr. Jane Barlow

Dr. Peter Marks discussed how gene therapy offers "a chance in many ways to to get things right once and for all" as it could potentially save patients a lifetime of needing to undergo disease treatments repeatedly.

  • "With gene therapy, we're going from feeding someone a fish for dinner — in the case of taking regular pills — to teaching them how to fish by taking care of them for a lifetime."

Rep. Scott Peters focused on how targeted treatments can save money in the long term for patients and the government alike.

  • On Congress' traditional resistance to new medical methods: "People, their initial reaction to technologies is that it must be more expensive. It's our job to show that it's more cost-effective over time."

Dr. Jane Barlow discussed rethinking the payment model for expensive treatments like gene therapy. She highlighted how a Netflix-type model could be used to help solve the problem of high one-time costs of gene therapy treatments compared to current medicines where the cost is spread out over time.

Thank you to The Institute for Gene Therapies for sponsoring this event.

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