A Massachusetts Institute of Technology economist and Harvard oncologist have a proposal to get highly effective but prohibitively expensive drugs into consumers' hands: health care installment loans.
In the journal Science Translational Medicine, the academics liken drug loans to mortgages, noting that both can enable consumers to buy big-ticket items requiring ahefty upfront payment that they couldn't otherwise afford.
Some consumer advocates and health insurance experts see it completely differently.
"Isn't this why we have health insurance?" asked Mark Rukavina, a Boston-based health care consultant whose work has focused on affordability and medical debt. "Insurance used to protect people from financial ruin for these unpredictable, costly occurrences. Now, with large deductibles, we've got coverage for preventive care but not for treatment."