Yescarta growth trends
In the first quarter, Gilead Sciences’ (GILD) cell therapy product, Yescarta, reported revenues of $96 million, a sequential rise of 19%. According to the first-quarter earnings conference call, the drug has been used to treat almost 1,500 patients since its commercial launch in the US. According to the first-quarter earnings investor presentation, Gilead Sciences expects Yescarta’s revenues to almost double in fiscal 2019 as compared to fiscal 2018.
According to the first-quarter earnings conference call, Gilead Sciences is working to increase awareness about the clinical profile of Yescarta as well as identifying patients eligible for Yescarta therapy among physicians and oncologists. These efforts are expected to increase overall patient referrals for Yescarta. The company is also working with centers authorized to administer Yescarta. There are 75 authorized centers in the US and 25 centers in the EU.
On April 23, CMS (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services) issued a press release with a proposal for the 2020 Medicare Hospital Inpatient Prospective Payment System. According to the first-quarter earnings conference call, this proposal is open to public comment until the end of June.
According to the proposal, CMS plans to increase payment for inpatient CAR-T therapy Yescarta received by Medicare patients by 15% from 50% to 65% of the total costs, starting in fiscal 2020. The maximum add-on payment payable by CMS under the new rule is $242,450. Gilead Sciences plans to continue engaging with CMS to further improve access to CAR-T therapy.
According to the first-quarter earnings conference call, Gilead Sciences has managed to secure early reimbursement for Yescarta in France, the United Kingdom, and Germany. The company is working to further expand awareness and set up new centers for administering Yescarta in Europe.