Novartis’ Kymriah (tisagenlecleucel) has been recommended for the treatment of adults with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma through the Cancer Drugs Fund by the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE).
In 2015, England saw 11,690 new cases of non-Hodgkin lymphoma and 4,688 of these cases were diffuse large B-cell lymphoma.
Chimeric-antigen receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy is expensive, with the list price for Kymriah as a single intravenous infusion at £282,000 ($365,194).
Novartis agreed to offer the therapy at an undisclosed discounted price to the estimated 200 people that will be eligible for the treatment each year in the UK. National Health Services (NHS) England is also working with hospitals across the country to ensure the delivery of this treatment.
In 2018, NICE’s draft guidance regarding cost-effectiveness estimated that Kymriah was “above the range that NICE considers an acceptable use of NHS resources.”
At the time, NICE suggested that the lack of data comparing the therapy to chemotherapy was a concern.
Meindert Boysen, director of the Center for Health Technology Evaluation at NICE, said in a statement that the recommendation for Kymriah on the Cancer Drugs Fund enables patients to benefit from the treatment and would allow for a greater amount of data to be collected.
John Stewart, director of specialized commissioning at NHS England said in a statement, “The NHS has agreed another deal with the manufacturer Novartis which means that from next week more patients will benefit from this game changing treatment at even more hospitals throughout the country.”
He further stated, “Providing the latest cutting edge treatments for patients through competitive drug deals and offering more personalized medicines like CAR T-cell therapy are just two of the ways that the NHS Long Term Plan will transform cancer care across the country.”