CRISPR, Patents, and the Public Health
Yale Journal of Biology and Medicine, vol. 90, pp. 667-672 (2017)
6 Pages Posted: 3 Jan 2018 Last revised: 28 Jan 2018
Date Written: December 17, 2017
Patent issues surrounding CRISPR, the revolutionary genetic editing technology, may have important implications for the public health. Patents maintain high prices for novel therapies, limiting patient access. Relatedly, insurance coverage for expensive therapies is waning. Patents also misallocate research and development resources to profitable disease indications rather than those that necessarily impinge on the public health. And it is unclear how CRISPR therapies will figure into the current regulatory framework for biosimilars. Policy makers and physicians should consider these issues now, before CRISPR therapies become widely adopted—and entrenched—in the marketplace.
Keywords: crispr, patents, public health, gene editing, drug pricing, insurance, research, regulation, law, policy
JEL Classification: K00, K11, O3, O34
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation