Inspiration came from therapies with prohibitive prices, like one for hepatitis C that is highly effective but costs $84,000, authors say.
A group of researchers has proposed a method for making expensive treatments for cancer, hepatitis C and other rare diseases more affordable: healthcare loans. They effectively work like a home mortgage and spread out payments for expensive treatments over time.
Vahid Montazerhodjat, David Weinstock and Andrew Lo floated the proposal in their study published in Science Translational Medicine. The three said these loans allow patients in both multi-payer and single-payer markets broader access to therapy, and would link payment to clinical benefit, lower per-patient cost and provide incentives to develop more curative therapies.
Moreover, they proposed securitization to finance a large, diversified pool of healthcare loans through both debt and equity, the efficacy of which is backed up by numerical simulations suggesting that a wider swath of patients would gain access to certain therapies.