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How Much does Cancer Immunotherapy Cost?

September 3, 2022
Shimon Slavin
Cancer immunotherapy cost

When it comes to saving the lives of cancer patients, discussing economics feels out of place. However, any medical procedure costs money, and cancer treatment is no exception. It is also important to note that unlike conventional treatments, the cost of experimental cancer therapies is not usually covered by national health systems or private insurance companies. Therefore, it is not surprising that patients who are interested in innovative immunotherapies are primarily concerned with the cost of treatment.

What types of cancer immunotherapies are available?

The term “immunotherapy” includes many methods that can be divided into two categories.

The first is standardized immunotherapy drugs that have undergone clinical trials and are produced by pharmacological companies. The cost of such drugs is known in advance, and patients can buy them in a pharmacy with a prescription from their treating oncologist.

The second category is innovative personalized immunotherapy methods. One of the best known in this category is CAR-T-cell therapy. This category also includes experimental methods that are not yet included in conventional medicine protocols.

For example, at Biotherapy International we use:

What does the cost of immunotherapy consist of?

In experimental immunotherapy methods, drugs or vaccines are produced for each individual patient. Therefore, the cost of their production requires large expenses, which include the cost of raw materials, salaries of doctors and laboratory workers, special equipment, storage in special conditions, and others. To this, we should add the cost of research and development of treatment methods themselves, which sometimes take years of work and considerable investment.

How much does cancer immunotherapy cost?

When it comes to confirmed immunotherapy drugs that can be purchased at the pharmacy, the cost is known and determined by the pharmaceutical company as well as the supplier. Since immunotherapy treatment protocols are individualized, this means that the type of therapy, doses, and duration of treatment will be different for each patient. The cost of immunotherapy protocols varies depending on the method and personalized about the treatment protocol. On average, a full course of experimental cancer immunotherapy can cost in the $30,000 to $40,000 range.

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