After NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has recommended against both CARTs in their first draft guidance, NHS England finally announced it will cover Yescarta from Gilead through the Cancer Drugs Fund (CDF), making it the first CAR T available to adults in England.
Last month, NHS England struck a deal with Novartis to make Kymriah the first CAR T available in England, but its access is limited to children and young adults. Kymriah is available to patients under 25 years old with B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) that are refractory, in relapse post-transplant or in second or later relapse.
NHS England said up to 200 patients a year will receive Yescarta. The agency said the drug would have cost nearly £300,000 ($391,551) per patient at its full list price, but that its negotiated deal with Gilead “has enabled NICE to approve its entry into NHS England’s Cancer Drugs Fund.” Terms of the deal are confidential.
Yescarta will be available in the coming weeks at NHS hospitals in Birmingham, Bristol, London, Manchester and Newcastle.