BCNA News 02 Feb 2018
Join our campaign to have two new breast cancer drugs subsidised in Australia
For the last 18 months, BCNA has been working hard to have two new breast cancer drugs, ribociclib and palbociclib, listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) so they are available at an affordable price for Australian women and men who can benefit from them. You may be one of the 32,000 people who signed our petition last year.
Ribociclib (Kisqali) and palbociclib (Ibrance) are used to treat a particular type of metastatic breast cancer. In clinical trials, they have been found to substantially increase the length of time before the cancer spreads. Clinical trials are now underway to also test these drugs in women with high risk early breast cancers.
Unfortunately, these drugs are not affordable for most Australian families because they are not subsidised by the Australian Government through the PBS – even though they are standard of care and subsidised in a number of other countries.
BCNA is calling on its members and their supporters to write to their local federal Member of Parliament and state or territory Senators to urge them to support the listing of these drugs on the PBS.
Please join our campaign by letting your Member of Parliament and Senators know this is an issue that is important to you.
Below you will find links to help you work out which electorate you live in and how to contact your local MP and state/territory Senators. There are also templates to help you write to your MP and Senators (letter or email) and speaking points if you would like to make an appointment to see them in their office.
If you would also like to write to the Health Minister, you can write to him at this address:
Hon Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health
CANBERRA ACT 2600
If you have any questions, please call the BCNA Policy Team on 1800 500 258 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find your local federal Member of Parliament
Download templates you can use to contact your MP and Senators
You can use these templates to contact your MP or Senators, or you can write your own letter. Please share the templates with the family and friends. In the first paragraph, delete the descriptions that do not apply to you.
What are the CDK inhibitors?
The CDK inhibitors are a new treatment option for postmenopausal women, and men, with hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer. They are taken in tablet form with an aromatase inhibitor such as letrozole or anastrozole. They do not cause common cancer treatment side effects such as hair loss and nausea, so people using them have a good quality of life.
Currently they are only approved for use as a ‘first-line’ treatment. This means they are only available to people who haven’t had any other treatment for metastatic breast cancer.
Ongoing clinical trials are showing that the CDK inhibitors can also be used successfully in other groups of women and with other drug combinations. For example, the US has recently approved the CDK inhibitors in combination with tamoxifen or an aromatase inhibitor for premenopausal or perimenopausal women with hormone-receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic breast cancer.
Other clinical trials are currently investigating the use of CDK inhibitors as a later line treatment for metastatic breast cancer and for women with high risk, hormone receptor positive early breast cancer.
For more information about some of this research, read an article in BCNA’s The Beacon magazine
Read more about BCNA’s CDK inhibitor advocacy work
Read about BCNA’s petition
Read BCNA’s submissions to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee