Skip to main content

Media Coverage | Outsourcing Pharma

August 1, 2023
Joel Morse

Curavit Article WSJ

Curavit CEO and co-founder, Joel Morse, provided background information for the important news article below for the Wall Street Journal Pro section. Read on to learn more about some of the issues confronting the digital therapeutics industry.

Good day. Startups that develop software-based disease treatments are devising strategies to overcome reimbursement obstacles that have hampered the emerging industry.

Digital therapeutics, often delivered through an app, have attracted venture capital in part because of their potential to extend the reach of medical care and reduce inequalities. The global digital-therapeutics market was valued at $5.09 billion in 2022, according to market tracker Grand View Research.

Because these treatments are new, securing reimbursement is often a slow process. Pear Therapeutics, a pioneer in the sector, filed for bankruptcy in April because of this challenge. Until there is a robust infrastructure for reimbursement, commercialization will be challenging, said Autumn Brennan, director of marketing and communications for Digital Therapeutics Alliance, a nonprofit trade group.

A bipartisan bill in Congress, the Access to Prescription Digital Therapeutics Act, would require the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to establish a payment methodology for these treatments.

Companies are also taking their own measures. Startup Click Therapeutics is developing prescription digital treatments for migraines, schizophrenia and other conditions with the same clinical rigor as a drug, which should encourage adoption, said co-founder and Chief Executive David Klein.

“Our approach takes into account that evidence of efficacy will be required for new medicines, and digital therapeutics shouldn’t receive any special treatment,” Klein said.

Another strategy is to deliver digital therapies directly to insurers, employers, and other customers without the need for a prescription. One company taking this approach is publicly traded DarioHealth, whose platform is designed to help people manage chronic conditions between doctor visits. Putting a doctor in the middle of the process adds a barrier for patients, said President Rick Anderson.

[salesforce form="2"]