What They’re Watching: Brian Warren, BIO

Brian Warren is the Director of Government Affairs at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization (BIO), the world’s largest trade association representing biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centers, and other related organizations. He joins us in this edition “What They’re Watching” to discuss preparing the health care system for innovation.



“BIO is focused a lot on preparing the health care system for the next wave of innovate therapies for patients. We’re at a real point where you have truly transformative therapies coming out in the form of cell and gene therapy that are able to provide fixes to genetic diseases. But, these are also technologies where as you’re getting closer to precision medicine, you’re having an inevitably smaller patient populations. These are expensive therapies and the health care payment system wasn’t designed for drugs like this. So, we’re looking at ways that we can work with payers, with state Medicaid agencies, to ensure that sometimes we’re looking at innovative payment models to help ensure that we have a system that is able to bear some of these new technologies and the prices that they will ultimately have.

BIO has been out front about encouraging the adoption of innovative payment models. So, sometimes it’s outcomes-based payment models. Sometimes there are subscription-based models where a health plan or other payer may have a contract where they can treat as many patients as they need to in a given year. Other times they are pay-over-time type models. Initially, I think we’ve seen a lot of interest among payers for the adoption of those types of models, however, obviously getting them to be able to be implemented is always a complicated and truly difficult part of it.

There’s now three or so different gene therapies on the market, maybe four by now. They’re starting to come and I think we’re really at the point now where some of these contracts are being entered into and we’ll kind of be learning from them.”