Dr Darius Lakdawalla on the Willingness to Pay for a Cure




Medical bankruptcy is indefensible and even if patients are willing to bankrupt themselves to purchase a cure, doesn't mean that is how pricing and reimbursement of treatments should be handled, said Darius Lakdawalla, PhD, Quintiles Chair in Pharmaceutical Development and Regulatory Innovation at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Southern California

Transcript (slightly modified)
What are the arguments for and against the notion that because people are willing to pay for a cure, that justifies the high price?
I think medical bankruptcy is indefensible from both an ethical and economic standpoint. The real issue here is that, it may well be the case, a patient who’s sick is willing, in that particular moment, to bankrupt herself for purchase of the care. But, that’s not really indicative of how we should handle pricing and reimbursement.

If they are so interested in bankrupting themselves, or so willing to bankrupt themselves, it also means that the insurance coverage is extremely valuable to them. So, we need to make sure that there is access to health insurance that is meaningful and in turn provides access to care. That’s the ultimate solution to medical bankruptcy because people do want to pay for healthcare when they’re sick, but it’s much more efficient, ethical, and practical, for us all to pay for healthcare in the form of health insurance premiums when we’re healthy.
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