Help improve the lives of women living with metastatic breast cancer – add your voice to our campaign.
Palbociclib (also called Ibrance) is used to treat hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer – the most common subtype of breast cancer. In clinical trials, it has been found to double the length of time before the cancer spreads.
Until now, the only way Australians have been able to get palbociclib is by buying it from overseas, at a cost of around $10,000 per month, or participating in a clinical trial.
Australia’s Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) has recently approved palbociclib for sale in Australia. BCNA understands it will be available by private script from mid-May; however it is expected to retail for thousands of dollars for a one month supply (one bottle).
BCNA member Carolyn has been buying palbociclib for the last nine months from overseas. Carolyn has spent more than $100,000 from her superannuation but but the drug has allowed her to be well enough to compete in ocean swimming races and spend quality time with family and friends.
‘It’s great that palbociclib has at last been approved for sale in Australia, but I’m really disappointed it’s still not on the PBS,’ Carolyn said.
‘The cost is still keeping palbociclib out of reach for most women and I just don’t know how much longer I can continue to pay for it for myself,’ she said.
Clinical trials for palbociclib opened and closed very quickly, meaning some women have missed out on being able to enrol in a trial. Esma is one of the fortunate women who could access palbociclib through a clinical trial - you can read her experience here.
BCNA needs your help to get palbociclib added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the Australian Government scheme that subsidises the cost of some medicines. Join our online petition to let the Government know that this is an important new drug for women newly diagnosed with hormone positive, HER2- negative metastatic breast cancer. Women like Carolyn need it to be listed on the PBS now.
Help support women living with metastatic breast cancer - sign our petition now.
For more information:
- Read our Latest news article BCNA welcomes approval of palbociclib for sale in Australia
- Read BCNA's Position statement on CDK inhibitors for the treatment of hormone positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer
- Read our Submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on palbociclib