(Reuters) – The U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on Wednesday said it has finalized a decision to cover expensive cancer cell therapies sold by Gilead Sciences Inc (GILD.O) and Novartis AG (NOVN.S).
CMS, which runs Medicare – the federal government’s health plan for Americans 65 and older – said it will cover the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-approved therapies when provided in healthcare facilities that have programs in place to track patient outcomes.
The nationwide decision clears up “a lot of confusion” about coverage and will help patients get access to the novel therapies, known as CAR-T, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said during a conference call with reporters on Wednesday.
The decision follows the agency’s finalization last week of a proposal to raise its maximum CAR-T payment to 65% of estimated costs from 50%. Some hospitals will also be eligible for supplemental payments in certain cases.
Both Gilead’s Yescarta and Novartis’ Kymriah…
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