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Does CAR-T Therapy Have a Payment Problem?

By August 28, 2018No Comments

By many standards, and certainly by the way the media covers it and industry promotes it, immuno-oncology therapies using CAR-T are revolutionizing cancer treatments. But what if, as the saying goes, they threw a revolution and nobody came? Or more precisely, what if they threw a revolution and no one was willing to pay for it?

Because CAR-T seems to have hit a bit of a snag—payers are reluctant to pay for it.

There are currently two chimeric antigen receptor T-cell (CAR-T) therapies approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). They are Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) and Gilead Sciences’ Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel). They have been approved for slightly different, but sometimes overlapping patient populations. In the case of Kymriah, it is approved for pediatric and young adult acute lymphocytic leukemia (ALL) and for recurring or relapsing (r/r) aggressive lymphomas. Yescarta is approved for similar aggressive lymphomas.