There is now hope on the horizon. CAR T-cell therapy is a promising new treatment that harnesses a patient’s own immune cells to fight life-threatening cancers. A single dose of CAR T-cell therapy is safe, effective and offers hope where no comparable treatment is available.
For Australians to benefit from this next-generation treatment, CAR T-cell therapy must be made available. Patients living with blood cancer do not have the time to wait.
In our independent white paper, CAR T-cell therapy: Is Australia ready, willing and able? – Evohealth recommends how Australia can prepare to deliver CAR T-cell therapy for patients at scale.
– Australian haematologist
Australia is at the start of its journey with CAR T-cell therapy . We identified three key barriers to delivering CAR T-cell therapy at scale:
- The quantum of funding available;
- The capacity of our already-stretched healthcare system; and
- The lead-times required for treatment sites to be ready.
While there is a groundswell of support for funded access to CAR T-cell therapy for suitable patients among clinicians and patient groups, Australian Governments have differing perspectives on supporting investment in CAR T-cell therapies at scale. As more CAR T-cell products receive regulatory approval and more patients become eligible for access, a nationally consistent and equitable approach to reimbursement, referrals and patient support is critical.
Whist 11 sites have delivered CAR T-cell therapy to date, three barriers threaten Australia’s ability to deliver CAR T-cell therapy at scale:
- The small pool and pipeline of experienced clinical staff;
- Australia’s current reliance on offshore manufacturing of CAR T-cells; and
- Sufficient access to real-world evidence to inform clinical decision-making and health service planning.
Australia’s healthcare system needs to keep pace.
The evidence based recommendations of Evohealth’s independent white paper ‘CAR T-cell therapy: Is Australia ready, willing and able? are supported by an expert advisory committee of patients, policy makers and clinicians.
Beardmore, R, Musgrave, S, Birchall, L, Stanley, R and Sharma, Y. CAR T-Cell Therapy: Ready, Willing and Able? Evohealth. 2023.