08 October 2018

NHS officials have reached a deal to allow CAR-T therapy to be given to adults in England with large cell lymphoma, it was announced last week.

The deal comes five weeks after the use of the therapy – Yescarta – was blocked for two types of non-Hodgkins lymphoma because of cost concerns.

The drug’s makers have agreed to cut the listed price for a course of treatment - £300,000 – to enable its use in the NHS. The size of the price reduction was not disclosed.

Up to 200 patients a year will receive the treatment, which will be available to patients whose other treatments have stopped responding, or when the disease returns, NHS England said.

Yescarta will be offered through the Cancer Drugs Fund at centres in Birmingham, Bristol, London, Manchester and Newcastle.

NHS England chief executive Simon Stevens said: “Thanks to investment in game-changing techniques like CAR-T, the NHS is at the forefront of providing a new wave of personalised treatments that are individually tailored to patients.

“CAR-T cell therapy is one of the most promising new treatments in a generation for lymphoma and leukaemia, and NHS patients will now be among the first in the world to benefit.”

Dr Alasdair Rankin, from the charity Bloodwise, welcomed the news.

He said: “CAR-T therapies have shown huge promise in treating patients with lymphoma who have no other chance of cure. It’s admirable that the NHS has worked to make this pioneering treatment available so quickly, giving hope to hundreds of patients and their families.

“It is likely that we are only beginning to see the benefits that CAR-T therapy can bring.”

Source: NHS England


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