Putting a price on new cancer treatments
Last week, the FDA approved a new immunotherapy for treating a type of leukemia that affects children and young adults. The manufacturer, Novartis, expects it will cost about $475,000 for the one-time personalized treatment in which a patient's immune cells are removed, modified so they attack cancer cells and then infused back into the body. Other companies are working on similar therapies for other cancers —with tentative success and serious setbacks.
As these new drugs begin to enter the market, we asked researchers, economists and policy experts: how should their value be determined? Their answers:
- Greg Aune, pediatric oncologist, Greehey Children's Cancer Research Institute: Value isn't just about surviving cancer
- David Mitchell, president and founder, Patients for Affordable Drugs: Drugs don't work if people can't afford them
- Usman Azam, president & CEO, Tmunity Therapeutics: How to evaluate breakthrough therapies
- Austin Frakt, health economist, Department of Veterans Affairs, Boston University and Harvard University: The public should have a say in what a drug is worth
- Paul Howard, senior fellow, Manhattan Institute: Price should be based on outcome