November 22, 2019 News, Press Releases

STAT OP-ED: Letting academic medical centers make CAR-T drugs would save billions

KEY POINTS:

  • “We’re weaponizing individuals’ immune systems to destroy cancer and add years to their lives….But at hundreds of thousands of dollars per dose, insurance companies and the U.S. government are struggling to figure out how to pay for these breakthrough treatments.”
  • “There’s a better way, one that will lower the price, enable more precise and individualized targeting for specific patients, and allow for a faster process: Let medical centers do this.”

Draw blood from someone with cancer. Engineer their blood cells to seek and destroy cancer. Reinfuse the cells and watch the cancer melt away. Chimeric antigen receptor T cell therapy (CAR-T) sounds like science fiction. But it’s the next frontier in cancer therapy.

We’re weaponizing individuals’ immune systems to destroy cancer and add years to their lives. It’s incredibly exciting. But at hundreds of thousands of dollars per dose, insurance companies and the U.S. government are struggling to figure out how to pay for these breakthrough treatments.

High prices not only pose a challenge to patient access, but they also raise a fundamental question: Are we creating these therapies the wrong way?

Read the full story here.

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