Anya Prince on Gene Therapy and Exacerbating Health Care Inequalities

Anya Prince, a legal scholar and thought leader in the field of genetic discrimination, will present a new paper at Monday’s Health Law Workshop that interrogates whether gene therapies will exacerbate inequalities in health care, as more treatments enter the market. “Gene Therapy’s Field of Dreams: If You Build It, Will We Pay?” focuses on some of the many issues raised by the prices of gene therapies.

“A major concern with the introduction of gene editing into clinical care is whether access to these treatments will be evenly distributed in a healthcare system that is by no means equitable. If developing and cutting-edge treatments are not provided for in equitable ways, there is the potential for exacerbating existing health disparities. Unbalanced rollout of the technology can lead to disparate groups in society— those who can treat or cure diseases through access to gene-editing technologies and those who are ‘stuck with’ a treatable disease. If gene editing lives up to its promise, this may eventually lead to dwindling social support and limited resources for patient populations with diseases that can be cured.”

Prince is an Associate Professor of Law at the University of Iowa College of Law and Member of the University of Iowa Genetics Cluster. Her teaching and research interests explore the ethical, legal, and social implications of genomic testing, with particular focus on genetic discrimination and privacy rights, the intersection of clinical and research ethics, and insurance coverage of genetic technologies and interventions.

For more details about the Health Law Workshop and Prince’s work, check the Petrie-Flom Center’s website.

Alex Pearlman

Alex Pearlman

Alex is the Editor in Chief of Bill of Health. As a reporter and editor, Alex has focused on covering the intersection of science and technology policy and human rights. She holds a masters degree in Bioethics and Society from King's College London. Alex is also the Communications Manager at the Petrie-Flom Center for Health Law Policy, Biotechnology, and Bioethics at Harvard Law School.

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