The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first cancer drug that uses the patient’s cells to fight the disease. However, the treatment is costly for most cancer patients. Here's everything that is known so far.

New FDA-approved drug to provide new way of treating cancer

Novartis, a Switzerland-based healthcare company, has created an anti-cancer drug and named it “Kymriah.” It is the first product belonging to CAR-T Therapy ever approved by FDA. This type of treatment collects the patient's White blood cells (WBC) and reprogramming them to hone in on tumors.

The oncologists are currently holding the medication as an innovative treatment. However, many of them suggested that Kymriah has an absurd price and it might be an unaffordable treatment for patients.

Novartis has announced that Kymriah will cost around $475,000. The company added that the price balances patient access to the treatment while allowing them to get a return on their investments. The cost is below what Wall Street analysts and UK regulators expected. However, Patients for Affordable Drugs David Mitchell said that the Kymriah price is still a bit excessive and the company must not set a higher price.

Mitchell also revealed that he and his group held a meeting with Novartis a day before the medication was approved.

He said that the company spent most of the time explaining why the drug needs to have a high price.

Novartis explains the high cost

Joseph Jimenez, the CEO of Novartis, released a statement on Wednesday, claiming that the company has been co-operating with the University of Pennsylvania in the past five years. He also said that the organization invested vast sums of money for the development of Immuno cellular therapy to cancer patients.

This is one of the reasons why Kymriah’s price is set to balance the patient access to the medication with the return of the company’s investment.

Patients who are willing to pay for the treatment's price will receive the latest drug. However, they need to visit one of 32 sites across the country as they need to have their cells collected, The harvested cells will be sent to Novartis’ facility in New Jersey for the medication to be created for the patient.

Kymriah has been proven to be incredibly effective in the fight against pediatric cancers when the company was running it on trial. Furthermore, children who were treated with it have achieved remission for five years by 85 percent.

Dr. Stephan Grupp, the leader of Novartis’ studies, claimed that the medication is very exciting as he witnessed a patient who went a near death situation into remission and stays cancer-free. He added that Kymriah is a brand new way of treating cancer.