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BCNA News 20 Jun 2019

Switch your patients' anastrozole and letrozole to FBM generics and help support BCNA

BCNA would like to remind health professionals of the financial benefits generated by prescribing generic versions of letrozole and anastrozole produced by social enterprise pharmaceutical company For Benefit Medicines (FBM).

For Benefit Medicines (FBM) is Australia’s first not-for-profit pharmaceutical company. Since 2015, FBM has donated half of the proceeds from the sale of its generic versions of letrozole and anastrozole to BCNA. The remaining 50 per cent is donated to Breast Cancer Institute of Australia to fund research and find a cure.

In 2017, this initiative directed $20,000 into BCNA coffers to support Australians affected by breast cancer.

FBM has confirmed that concession patients, constituting more than 80 per cent of all people on these medications, should be paying the same price of around $6.50 for the FBM versions as for other generics. Concession patients can also ask pharmacists to discount this price by up to a dollar under the PBS legislation.

Standard patients can be charged up to $35.13 for anastrozole and $36.88 for letrozole. Some pharmacies are offering their preferred generic that is cheaper than the FBM brand. The pharmacist can, at their discretion, discount the FBM brand to match that price.

FBM said currently more than 40 per cent of patients are choosing other generic brands of anastrozole or letrozole at the chemist. If all patients switched from other generics to Anastrozole FBM or Letrozole FBM, the FBM donation to BCNA would be hundreds of thousands of dollars each year.

All FBM drugs are listed on the PBS and meet the same regulations applied to the original brand for quality, safety and effectiveness. Health professionals are reminded that they can prescribe the FBM brand on patients' scripts and/or prompt patients to ask their pharmacist to stock and supply Anastrozole FBM or Letrozole FBM.

For more information about FBM go to https://www.bcna.org.au/get-involved/donate-through-your-medications/