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BCNA News 01 Dec 2017

BCNA welcomes expanded listing of goserelin on PBS

ZoladexBCNA welcomes the announcement that goserelin (Zoladex) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Breast Cancer Network Australia welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement that from today, 1 December 2017, goserelin (Zoladex) will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for all premenopausal women undergoing chemotherapy treatment which may affect their fertility.

Until now, only young women with hormone receptor positive breast cancer have been eligible for PBS-subsidised goserelin.

Goserelin is a drug which blocks the hormones that signal the ovaries to develop and release eggs. Research has shown that for women with hormone receptor negative breast cancer, the use of goserelin in combination with chemotherapy may protect fertility. The POEMS international trial of around 200 premenopausal women with hormone receptor negative early breast cancer found that the women who received monthly injections of goserelin while undergoing chemotherapy were more likely to become pregnant after their breast cancer treatment than those who did not receive goserelin.

In 2015, goserelin was added to the PBS for premenopausal women with hormone receptor positive early breast cancer. While this was welcome, the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA) and BCNA have been advocating for an extension to the listing to enable women with hormone receptor negative early breast cancer to be able to access goserelin through the PBS.  

It is vital that young women affected by breast cancer have access to affordable fertility preservation options. The loss of fertility, which may result from treatments such as chemotherapy, can be devastating for young women diagnosed with breast cancer who wish to start, or grow, their family. Prior to the Federal Government’s decision to expand the PBS listing for goserelin, young women with hormone receptor negative early breast cancer paid approximately $330 per month for the drug. The cost meant that not all women were able to afford goserelin. Women can now be treated with goserelin for the cost of a script fee - currently $38.80 per month or $6.30 with a concession card.

The new PBS listing means that premenopausal women having chemotherapy treatment for any type of cancer can now access goserelin through the PBS.

If you have been diagnosed with early breast cancer and are interested in learning more about goserelin and fertility preservation during treatment, please speak to a member of your treatment team. 

 

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