A cutting-edge CAR-T cell therapy for otherwise untreatable forms of blood cancer is too expensive to justify its use on Britain’s state-funded health service, the country’s healthcare cost agency NICE said on Tuesday

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Total costs of Kymriah and the 21 similar drugs in development — known as CAR T-cell therapies — will be far higher than many have imagined, reaching $1 million or more per patient, according to leading cancer experts. The next CAR T-cell drug could be approved as soon as November.

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When doctors talk about a new leukemia drug from Novartis, they ooze enthusiasm, using words like “breakthrough,” “revolutionary” and “a watershed moment.” But when they think about how much the therapy is likely to cost, their tone turns alarmist. “It’s going to cost a fortune,” said Dr. Ivan Borrello at Johns Hopkins Sidney Kimmel Comprehensive Cancer Center in Baltimore

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