On May 17, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) abruptly announced a delay in its release of a Medicare National Coverage Determination (NCD) for CAR T-cell therapy, which was due to be published that same day. The agency statement did not provide an explanation for the delay.
In a meeting with reporters on Wednesday, May 22, CMS Administrator Seema Verma said that the agency is taking care with the NCD because not only is the technology "new ground" for CMS, but also application of CAR-T therapy is expected to expand to other types of cancer beyond lymphoma. “So we want to make sure that we’re doing this appropriately, dotting our i’s and crossing our t’s. It’s just taking a little bit more time because it’s not a routine type of decision,” Verma said.
Source: Inside Health Policy
On May 16, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services
(CMS) released their final rule titled “Modernizing Part D and Medicare
Advantage to Lower Drug Prices and Reduce Out-of-Pocket Expenses.” Highlights
from this final rule include:
The ACCC policy team will continue to analyze this rule and
provide a more detailed analysis at a later date.
the CMS final rule here.
On May 14, Pfizer Inc. announced that the FDA has approved avelumab (Bavencio) plus axitinib (Inlyta) for the first-line treatment of patients with advanced renal cell carcinoma (RCC). A Phase III study showed that the combination significantly lowered risk of disease progression or death by 31 percent and extended progression-free survival by 5.4 months for patients with advanced RCC compared with sunitinib.
Read the Pfizer press release.
On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) released its final guidance to drug manufacturers with direction on what studies need to show the agency in how a biosimilar is interchangeable with a biologic. The healthcare community, and specifically, the oncology community, has called upon the FDA and Congress to increase the availability and competition of biosimilars.
Read statement from acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless, MD.
On May 10, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved ramucirumab (Cyramza, Eli Lilly and Company) as a single agent for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients who have an alpha fetoprotein (AFP) of ≥ 400 ng/mL and have been previously treated with sorafenib.