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KOLs discuss car-t cost effectiveness


Social Media Key Opinion Leaders Discuss the Cost Effectiveness of CAR-T Treatment based on New Study

A new study conducted by Dr. Amar Kelkar, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute,  and co-authors, recently published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, has analyzed the cost-effectiveness of using CAR-T therapy in Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma (DLBCL) treatment. Amidst reactions to the research findings, a prevailing concern expressed by a number of notable medical personalities points to the dubious cost-effectiveness of the treatment in this setting.


Dr. Amar Kelkar, the lead author of the research, summarized the findings via his tweet thread and highlighted that "CAR-T, a therapy that costs almost 3x ASCT, but only improves survival by 1-4 months, is NOT COST-EFFECTIVE.". Dr. Kelkar also amused the Physician readers with his effective and humorous use of Social Media Memes to stress his points.


This sentiment was echoed by hematologist Aaron Goodman, who suggested that, while pharmaceutical companies may contest the findings, this independent analysis should be viewed as trustworthy.


The study also stirred up discussions around financial considerations for healthcare institutions. Dr. Ayushi Chauhan drew attention to the economic burden smaller cancer centers like Georgia Cancer Center have to bear, revealing their losses of about "$70-80k per commercial CAR-T patient."



Though the study critiques the cost-effectiveness of CAR-T therapy, it doesn't undermine its clinical benefits entirely. Dr. Jonathan Berry underlined CAR-T therapy's effectiveness, while also acknowledging the significant financial implications of this expensive therapy.



Krishna Komanduri, MD, also recognized these cost and value concerns, suggesting a need for comparisons with alternative therapies' cost and effectiveness.



In conclusion, numerous physicians suggest that price adjustments are a crucial aspect for the broader adoption of this potentially life-saving treatment. As put concisely by Vinson Yew, "CAR-T needs $100k shaved off the sticker price to be cost effective" and echoed Dr. Samer Al Hadidi's call for a "$100,000-$150,000" reduction in the price of these treatments. However, despite the concerns raised regarding the cost-effectiveness of CAR-T, the conversation underscores its merit in the progression of treatment for certain cancers.