Study Finds Wide Variation in Payers’ CAR-T Drug Costs

Chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR-T) therapies have been available in the U.S. since August 2017. While the list prices for the one-time treatments are known, a recent study from Prime Therapeutics LLC examined their total cost of care and clinical events following administration and found that payer costs for the therapies varied widely. Payers could use this information to help forecast costs for these drugs and strike value-based deals, says one author of the study, which was presented at the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy’s AMCP 2021 virtual conference in April.

Study Examined First Two CAR-Ts

Researchers examined the first two CAR-Ts on the U.S. market. Yescarta (axicabtagene ciloleucel) from Kite Pharma, Inc., a Gilead Sciences, Inc. company, was approved Oct. 18, 2017, for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma after two or more lines of systemic therapy (RSP 11/17, p. 8). The drug — which gained FDA approval for relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma after at least two forms of treatment on March 6 (RSP 4/21, p. 8) — is priced at $373,000.

Angela Maas

Angela has an extensive background of editing, reporting and writing for trade and consumer publications. She has written Radar on Specialty Pharmacy (formerly called Specialty Pharmacy News) since she joined AIS Health in 2005 and has broad knowledge of the various issues at play within the space. Before joining AIS Health, she was managing editor at Employee Benefit News and Employee Benefit News Canada and managing editor at HemAware (a hemophilia publication), Lupus Living and Momentum (a multiple sclerosis publication). She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in British literature from Arizona State University.

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