ZURICH (Reuters) – The Swiss government approved on Friday health insurance coverage for CAR-T cell therapies from Novartis and Gilead Sciences, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars per patient.

In this form of therapy, patients’ white blood cells are genetically modified to attack cancer cells.

The health department said the decision covered Novartis’s Kymriah and Gilead’s Yescarta.

“The contract between hospitals and the health insurers will be approved until the end of 2020, granting the affected patients immediate access to these therapies,” the government said after a cabinet meeting.

(Reporting by Michael Shields; Editing by Edmund Blair)