New research has observed that the benefits of CAR-T cell immunotherapies – for the treatment of diseases such as pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia and diffuse large B-cell lymphoma – may be offset by their delayed delivery to patients. The social value of a therapy balances manufacturer costs and profits versus a patient’s improvement in quality-adjusted life years. Researchers employed an economic framework for therapy valuation to assess resultant patients’ social value from timely or delayed CAR-T cell therapy delivery. When therapy delivery was delayed by 6 months, compared with 1 month, patients’ social value from the therapy was lessened by more than 40%.
In the study, the authors concluded: “The social value of CAR-T [cell therapy] is significantly limited by treatment delays. Efficient payment mechanisms, adequate capital, and payment policy reform are urgently needed to increase patient access and maximize the value of CAR-T.”