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STAT Plus: To pay for cutting-edge CAR-T therapies, Medicare plays it safe, for now

WASHINGTON — Medicare is grappling with how to pay for complicated, pricey new cancer therapies — and a new regulation Thursday suggests health officials are taking a cautious approach.

The drugs, called CAR-T treatments, are custom-built for each patient, and teach the body’s immune system to hunt down cancer cells. The Food and Drug Administration has approved just two, and neither is cheap — Novartis’s Kymriah costs $475,000, and Gilead’s Yescarta $373,000.

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