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From our Expert Voices conversation on drug pricing.

The recent FDA approval of CAR T-cell therapy is a major milestone in the longstanding effort to cure childhood cancer, once almost uniformly fatal.

The problem: Today childhood leukemia is treatable in most cases and 80% of children survive longer than five years. Unfortunately, early exposure to radiation and chemotherapy can have devastating long-term health impacts for childhood cancer survivors. Up to a third of long-term survivors will suffer from at least one life-threatening or debilitating medical problem caused by their "curative" treatment, which can include secondary cancers, severe cardiovascular disease, infertility, and endocrine disorders. Thus, many are trading one difficult disease for a lifetime battling numerous health problems.

Why it matters: Because they selectively target tumor cells and spare normal cells, new therapies like CAR-T presumably will result in less damage to normal tissues and cause fewer long-term health problems. They offer incredible hope to a new generation of childhood cancer patients that they can not only be cured, but can look forward to a productive life without additional health burdens.

The bottom line: While the upfront cost of these new therapies are high, any consideration of value should take into account the health care savings generated by an overall healthier and productive population of childhood cancer survivors.

Other voices in the conversation:

Go deeper

Updated 6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

7 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.