(CBS Local) — Investment banking giant Goldman Sachs is reportedly asking some very cold questions about the healthcare industry and whether it’s a good business move to cure diseases.
In an April 10 financial report titled “The Genome Revolution,” company analysts allegedly posed the question “is curing patients a sustainable business model?” The report broke down the pros and cons of new gene therapy treatments being worked on by biotech companies. Turning the search for medical remedies into a numbers game, analyst Salveen Richter called potential “one shot cures” a bad business decision that will hurt a company’s bottom line.
“While this proposition carries tremendous value for patients and society, it could represent a challenge for genome medicine developers looking for sustained cash flow,” Richter said, via Yahoo Finance.
Goldman researchers pointed to pharmaceutical company Gilead Sciences, which developed a treatment for hepatitis C, as an example of the financial impact treating diseases can have on profits. “In the case of infectious diseases such as hepatitis C, curing existing patients also decreases the number of carriers able to transmit the virus to new patients,” the memo argued.
Gilead Sciences’ 90 percent cure rate of hepatitis C will reportedly send its sales plunging from $12.5 billion in 2015 to less than $4 billion this year. The Goldman Sachs report allegedly suggests that biotech firms move to developing treatments for conditions with larger patient pools such as spinal muscular atrophy and hemophilia.
Richter and Goldman Sachs have not commented on the report.