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February 2016

Application of Medicare’s New Technology Add-on Payment Program for Blinatumomab

Author Affiliations
  • 1Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholars Program, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut
  • 2Department of Internal Medicine, Connecticut Veterans Affairs Health System, West Haven, Connecticut
  • 3Division of Hematology-Oncology, Knight Cancer Institute, Department of Public Health and Preventive Medicine, Oregon Health and Sciences University, Portland
JAMA Oncol. 2016;2(2):165-166. doi:10.1001/jamaoncol.2015.5359

Under industry pressure, the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) reversed a prior decision and will authorize an additional payment to hospitals under Medicare’s new technology add-on payment (NTAP) program for the cancer drug blinatumomab (Blincyto; Amgen) for use in patients with relapsed or refractory acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL).1,2 Blinatumomab is a bispecific T cell–engaging monoclonal antibody whose putative mechanism of action is targeting CD19+ cells for death by activating cytotoxic, CD3+ T cells.

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