Financing therapies as weapons are financed

Advanced treatments cost between 500 thousand euros and two million per patient. Impossible for a health system to cope with all the incoming therapies. Massive investments and a different accounting treatment are needed: ”

We would have to account for an expense of this type as an investment, something that today does not happen in any European country – says Mauro Marè, Professor of Finance at Luiss Business School -. If it were allowed, however, the cost of these therapies could be amortized over the years according to the savings generated over time.

A totally innovative approach, which would have the characteristic of a “win win” formula: advantageous both for the patient, who would benefit from highly innovative and effective treatments, and for the National Health Service, which could amortize the cost of the therapy over the years.

To achieve these results, courage is needed: current accounting conventions need to be thoroughly reviewed and updated, considering that part of the expenses are necessary to increase the capital stock and economic assets of a nation

– they are therefore decisive for the future of a country and its economic sustainability – and that for this reason the expenses for advanced therapies can be considered, at least in part, as investment expenses.

After all, with the revision of the European System of Accounts (Sec) in 2010, military expenses were also redeveloped from current expenses to investment expenses. If a tank but also a hand grenade are an ‘investment’, how can we not consider in the same way a life-saving therapy that supports the NHS in the medium term? “.

Radiation therapy is a powerful weapon in cancer treatment, it is recommended for 50-60% of cancer patients, and many of them are cured. However, despite the tremendous technological advances of the past 20 years, it is still limited by radiation-induced toxicity on healthy tissues.

If these toxicities could be reduced, a higher dose of radiation could be administered, thus opening up a possibility of curing those tumors that still remain incurable today, and reducing the long-term negative side effects in patients with curable tumors.

Initial preclinical studies have shown that irradiation at doses far higher than those currently used in clinical settings, for shorter times than those currently practiced, reduces radiation-induced toxicity while maintaining equivalent efficacy in contrasting the tumor.

This is known as the ‘FLASH effect’. Fondazione Pisa has decided to support and finance, with 1.3 million euros, the research project ‘Electron Flash Therapy’, as part of which to promote an in-depth study on the so-called FLASH effect, a line of research on which a agreement with the

University of Pisa, which will be the implementing institution of the project together with the Pisan University Hospital, CNR and INFN. The research project was presented today, 12 October, in a press conference that took place in the auditorium of

Palazzo Blu, which was attended by the lawyer Stefano Del Corso, president of the Pisa Foundation, the rector of the University of Pisa. Professor Paolo Mancarella, Professor Simone Capaccioli, Director of the Center for the Integration of Instrumentation of the University of Pisa (CISUP),

Professor Fabiola Paiar, of the University of Pisa and scientific director of the CPFR, Doctor Silvia Briani, Director General of the Pisan University Hospital, Dr. Fabio Di Martino, creator of the project and Technical Director of the CPFR, professor Michela Matteoli, director of the CNR Institute of Neuroscience and Dr. Marco Grassi, director of the INFN of Pisa.


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