CAR T-cell therapy cost-effective compared with past treatments

Chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy has improved health outcomes at a more cost-effective rate than other cancer treatments, according to a study presented at ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition.

Data suggest that price increases of pharmaceutical oncology treatments have outpaced survival improvements. However, these study findings reveal that chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy represents a break with the past trends of low-value innovation, according to the researchers.

“I think CAR T therapy clearly was significantly better in terms of incremental qualities when compared with both other treatments for hematologic cancers and treatments for nonhematologic cancers,” James Baumgardner, PhD, senior research economist at Precision Health Economics, said during his presentation. “In terms of trends, the introduction of CAR T therapy represents a major break of the trend of declining incremental effectiveness while showing similar cost-effectiveness to other innovations.”

Researchers identified all analyses of pharmaceutical treatments for cancer published since 2007 in the Tufts Medical Center Cost-Effectiveness Analysis Registry, which quantifies health benefits in terms of quality-adjusted life-years (QALYs). Researchers derived cost-utility analysis data for CAR T-cell therapies from a study conducted in 2018 by the Institute for Clinical and Economic Review.

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