CAR-T therapy trials have had extraordinary success, putting patients into remission, who had only months to live.
NHS chief executive, Simon Stevens, said CAR-T therapy, which has been licensed in the US but not yet in the UK, could be approved for use this year.
The treatments, which are hugely expensive, work by genetically engineering the patient’s immune system’s killer T-cells to recognise and destroy cancer cells.
The cost in the US is $475,000 (£340,000) per patient, which is far in excess of the normal NHS ceiling of £50,000 for a life-saving drug.
Speaking to the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Simon Stevens appealed for fair prices. "As we celebrate the 70th anniversary, the NHS is working harder than ever to save lives and improve care by embracing cutting edge technology like CAR-T therapy and spreading innovation across the whole health service...However, we can’t do this alone...manufacturers need to set fair and affordable prices so treatments can be made available to all who need them.”
"We hope that manufacturers can agree on a deal that ensures affordable access for patients in the UK as soon as possible, to achieve long-term remissions and even cures.”