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“From what we’re hearing, this will be a quantum leap more expensive than other cancer drugs,” said Leonard Saltz, chief of gastrointestinal oncology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

Switzerland-based Novartis hasn’t announced a price for the medicine, but British health authorities have said a price of $649,000 for a one-time treatment would be justified given the significant benefits.

The cancer therapy was unanimously approved by a Food and Drug Administration advisory committee in July, and its approval seems all but certain.

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