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BCNA News 08 Mar 2017

Help support women with metastatic breast cancer by signing our petition

UPDATE: Our palbociclib petition has closed. BCNA would like to extend its gratitude to the more than 32,000 Australians who signed the online petition for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of palbociclib. Read our palbociclib petition update.

BCNA is calling on all Australians to help improve the lives of women living with metastatic breast cancer by signing our petition to have a vital new drug added to the PBS.

The new breast cancer drug palbociclib (also called Ibrance) is used to treat hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. It has been shown to extend the length of time before the cancer spreads and does not result in common cancer treatment side effects such as hair loss and nausea.

Currently palbociclib is not approved for sale in Australia and not available on the PBS. The only way Australian women can get palbociclib is to buy it from one of the 52 countries overseas where it is currently available or participate in a clinical trial.

Not all Australian women who are eligible for palbociclib have been able to access it through a clinical trial. Those who have missed out can pay up to $10,000 a month for palbociclib. For example, BCNA member Carolyn has spent approximately $100,000 of her superannuation funds buying the drug.

'Because of previous hormone treatments and now the palbocicilb, which I take with an-other drug (Faslodex), I was able to travel overseas to Cuba (a bucket list item) and to see friends in the USA and Canada. I’ve also had four interstate holidays within Australia since the diagnosis and am enjoying spending time with family and friends,' she said. 

‘I am grateful that I have been able to get it up until now but cannot keep paying for it for much longer.

It breaks my heart to think of so many other Australian women who know it’s there but can't get access to it.'

Palbociclib is currently being considered for sale in Australia by decision makers but BCNA is calling on all Australians affected by breast cancer to sign our petition to move this process along.