August 30, 2017 Press Releases

Statement from Patients For Affordable Drugs on Novartis’ Drug Price

WASHINGTON, DC — The following statement was issued by David Mitchell, Founder and President of Patients For Affordable Drugs, regarding Novartis’ decision to price its CAR-T drug, Kymriah, at $475,000 per treatment.

“As a cancer patient, the potential of CAR-T is exciting and I applaud FDA’s approval. It means hope for hundreds of children and their families, and we’re all excited at the potential for cancer patients.

“But let’s remember, American taxpayers invested over $200 million in CAR-T’s discovery. To date, Novartis has not acknowledged the significance of taxpayers’ investment, and the company declined to detail its own investment.

“While Novartis’ decision to set a price at $475,000 per treatment may be seen by some as restraint, we believe it is excessive. Novartis should not get credit for bringing a $475,000 drug to market and claiming they could have charged people a lot more.

“The drug pricing system in America is completely broken. Until policy in this country changes, the vicious cycle of patients struggling under high drug prices will continue.”


Here are two things Patients For Affordable Drugs will be watching moving forward:

  • As the number of patients eligible for Kymriah expands, will Novartis lower the price?
  • When the drug is approved in other countries, will U.S. taxpayers be charged more than citizens of other nations?


Patients For Affordable Drugs is the only independent national patient organization focused exclusively on achieving policy changes to lower the price of prescription drugs.