BCNA recent submissions
In 2021, BCNA has developed a number of submissions on issues relevant to our members.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee
In the first half of 2021, BCNA made the following submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC):
- Submission in support of the listing of tucatinib (Tukysa) for the treatment of people with metastatic HER2-positive breast cancer
- Letter in support of the listing of atezolizumab (Tecentriq®) for first-line treatment of people with metastatic triple negative breast cancer that is PD-L1 positive
- Letter in support of the listing of abemaciclb (Verzenio®) for the treatment of women with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer, in combination with fulvestrant
BCNA has welcomed the PBAC’s recommendation that abemaciclb in combination with fulvestrant be listed. However, disappointingly the PBAC did not recommend the listing of atezolizumab or tucatinib and we will continue our advocacy in support of these and other drugs. More information about the March 2021 PBAC outcomes is available here.
Repurposing of prescription medicines
In March 2021, BCNA made a submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration Repurposing of Prescription Medicines consultation. In the submission, BCNA noted its support for:
- reducing the regulatory burden for repurposing medicines
- consideration for reform towards the identification of new uses (or indications) for medicines and the repurposing of older medicines
- the facilitation of repurposing pathways without compromising on the key elements of safety, quality, and efficacy.
National Preventive Health Strategy
In April 2021, BCNA put in a Submission to the National Preventive Health Strategy Consultation. In the submission, BCNA:
- supported the focus on increasing participation rates in screening and noted the access issues that people in remote areas may face
- highlighted the impact of COVID-19 on rates of screening and breast cancer and the need for surge planning to account for increases in cancer cases which may be seen over the coming months
- Noted the importance of optimising the early detection of breast cancer and recommended that tailored screening approaches and models for risk stratified screening should be considered as part of the Strategy
- highlighted the need for the national implementation of the BreastScreen WA approach to inform women with dense breasts that mammography is a less sensitive screening tool for them.
Thank you to Professor Bruce Mann and the BCNA Consumer Representatives who contributed to this submission.
BCNA welcomed the news that on 1 April 2021 Kisqali (ribociclib) in combination with fulvestrant (Fulvestrant Sandoz®) was listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of hormone receptor positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) metastatic breast cancer. As BCNA CEO Kirsten Pilatti notes, "This is an important day in ensuring we're delivering the best possible treatments to all Australians living with metastatic breast cancer. The PBS listing is another step closer to making sure Australia doesn't have a two-tiered system where only those who can afford it can access the best care.”