A new drug that could cost $1 million to make and cost about $1 per month per patient is on the horizon, as the province looks to save money on its costly cancer-care plans.
The drug, called GELT, is being tested by the government’s cancer drugs program, and is likely to have a wide-ranging impact on the health care system, including reducing costs for those who can afford it.
GELG-15 is a type of peptide made by GELP, a small pharmaceutical company in Calgary.
The peptide is used to treat certain cancers, and its price tag is pegged at about $15,000 per treatment.
Health officials hope the drug will help them save $500 million a year by 2020, with about $2 billion spent on cancer treatment.
The new drug, which is being developed in Calgary, uses a protein that is part of the natural immune system to help fight cancer cells, called macrophages.
The protein has been found to help the body fight infections and infections of other types of cells.
But the drug could also help patients battling other types, including certain forms of leukemia.
Gels are used in other parts of the body, including the brain, spinal cord, and the skin.
But they are typically not given in the same doses as chemotherapy.
The treatment for most cancers is typically administered in combination with a combination of chemotherapy and radiation, and many people with advanced cancer have to have both treatments.
The price tag for GEL-15, if approved, is a hefty $1,500 per patient, according to a study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association last week.
Health Minister Deb Matthews said it was a “bold and bold plan” that was being considered for the drug.
“I think it’s an exciting and important strategy that has the potential to save a lot of money for the Canadian public,” Matthews said in an interview.
The province plans to make the drug available to cancer patients in early 2018, and a provincial advisory committee will work with the pharmaceutical company to make sure it is ready.
The provincial health agency, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, said it plans to provide $50 million in funding to the Canadian Cancer Society to develop the drug, along with other health care systems.
“We’re very confident that we will get this approved as soon as possible,” said Dr. James Tapp, the cancer agency’s chief scientific officer.
“Our expectation is that we’ll have it out in the first half of next year.”
He said it would cost about about $500 per treatment, and it would be possible to get a trial of the drug within six months.
The government said it has been reviewing the potential benefits of GELTs, which are available as a tablet or capsules, for several years, and have been working with GELPs to develop a more effective treatment.
A study published last year found that the therapy could reduce the risk of dying from the most common form of cancer, colon cancer.
The study found that chemotherapy had no significant effect on the survival rate, but the study also found that patients who received the treatment had lower mortality rates and had a significantly lower risk of relapse.
Tapp said it is a “significant advance” that GELGs may be able to be given to patients in the near future.
“This is a promising new tool to help us reduce the cost of our cancer care plans,” he said.
The Canadian Cancer Societies cancer program also plans to spend $50,000 to develop GELAs, along in partnership with GELS-14, an antibody drug that targets specific cancer types.
“There is a great deal of hope and excitement that we’re going to be able deliver GEL’s to our patients as soon it is available,” said John Hodge, the association’s director of medical affairs.
The society will also work with Gels-14 and GEL, the research arm of Gels Pharmaceuticals, to develop more effective treatments for those with advanced lung and liver cancer.
Health Canada says it is confident GELs will be available within a few years, but it does not have a timeline for when patients will be able receive them.
“While the new treatment is not yet available, GELTS has the benefit of being in phase 2 clinical testing, so we are confident we will be delivering it within a very short time,” said Julie Boudreau, a spokesperson for Health Canada.
She added that the agency is also looking to see whether GELA could be used to lower the cost per patient of some of the other treatments that are being tested.
“Currently, there are no plans for GELS to be used in combination therapy with other chemotherapy treatments,” she said.
In an interview with CBC News, Hodge said he expects GELTA to be a major addition to the cancer treatment pipeline.
“It’s going to take us years to get to a situation where we can start delivering this treatment