Michigan Senate votes against limiting CAR-T to certain hospitals

Michigan's Senate voted Oct. 30 to reject a state regulatory commission's recommendation to regulate and limit the number of hospitals that can administer CAR-T cell therapy, according to Crain's Detroit Business.

CAR-T therapy is an innovative but expensive new cancer treatment that uses patients' immune cells to fight against certain lymphoma cancers. It costs between $375,000 and $475,000.

The Certificate of Need Commission recommended Michigan limit the number of hospitals that could perform the CAR-T treatment and that hospitals be required to get approval from a state agency before being allowed to administer the therapy, according to The Heartland Institute's Health Care News.

CON laws are intended to prevent healthcare providers from performing unnecessary procedures for monetary gain, and the Commission in this case argues the CAR-T therapy hasn't been proven effective enough to justify the cost.

Legislators that vetoed the commission's recommendation, however, argued the regulation would limit patients' access to CAR-T and discourage other healthcare facilities from offering it, according to Health Care News.

Michigan state Sen. Curt Vanderwall, R-Ludington, told Health Care News he believes patients should be allowed to choose their CAR-T provider.

Read the full article here.

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