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01 Feb 2017

Palbociclib (Ibrance) to be considered for inclusion on the PBS

Update - April 2018

On 20 April, the PBAC announced that it had recommended the addition of both ribociclib (Kisqali) and Palbociclib (Ibrance) to the PBS, subject to successful price negotiations between the Australian Government and the two drug companies. See BCNA's news item for more information.

PBAC outcome - January 2018

The PBAC reconsidered the two CDK inhibitors, ribociclib and palbociclib, at its meeting in November 2017. BCNA provided a submission in support.  The PBAC did not recommend listing of either of drug. Both drugs will be resubmitted to the PBAC for further consideration at its next meeting in March 2018. Outcomes from the meeting are not expected until the end of April.

 PBAC outcome

At its March meeting, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) decided against recommending palbociclib for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for a number of reasons. You can read a summary of its decision on the PBAC website. BCNA is continuing to work towards having this drug subsidised for Australians who can benefit from it. 

BCNA Submission

BCNA has made a submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in support of the new breast cancer drug palbociclib (Ibrance). The PBAC is the authority that makes recommendations to the Australian Government on which drugs should be subsidised through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule (PBS). 

Palbociclib is a new oral (tablet) therapy used to treat hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. It is given with the hormone therapy drugs letrozole or anastrozole and has been shown in an international clinical trial to extend progression free survival (the length of time before the cancer spreads) to 20.2 months, compared with 10.2 months for women on the trial who took letrozole only.

The trial also found palbociclib was well tolerated and did not result in side effects commonly associated with cancer treatment such as nausea, diarrhoea and hair loss.

Palbociclib is not currently available to buy in Australia. A separate application is currently with the Therapeutic Goods Administration seeking approval for it to be sold here. It is an expensive drug and will be out of the reach of many women unless it is subsidised through the PBS.

The outcomes of the PBAC meeting are expected in later in the year. We will keep this page updated.


BCNA thanks the women living with metastatic breast cancer who generously provided their personal stories and quotes to be included in our submission.

We also thank members of our Strategic Advisory Group for their assistance in reviewing the submission.

More information