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BCNA News 17 Jul 2019

Compassionate access program for Nerlynx

Specialised Therapeutics has opened a compassionate access program following approval of the drug Nerlynx (neratinib) by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA).

The program enables Australians diagnosed with HER2-positive, Hormone Receptor (HR) positive early breast cancer who have been treated with Herceptin (trastuzumab) within the past 12 months to receive 12 months’ of Nerlynx free of charge.

Nerlynx is an oral medication, taken daily for 12 months in conjunction with an aromatase inhibitor (AI). Clinical trials have shown Nerlynx can reduce the five-year risk of breast cancer returning by up to 42 per cent when Nerlynx is started within one year of completing Herceptin.

The fear of breast cancer returning is something many women and men struggle with after treatment, which can have a significant impact on their emotional wellbeing and daily life.

It is a key priority for BCNA to ensure that new treatment options like Nerlynx are approved for sale in Australia quickly and are put on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) so all women and men who could benefit from these new treatments can access them.

BCNA made a submission to Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in support of the listing of Nerlynx on the PBS.

At its March 2019 meeting, the PBAC decided not to recommend listing Nerlynx, however, BCNA understands a new application to the PBAC will be made and we will continue to support the PBS listing of the drug.

Members diagnosed with HER2-positive, HR-positive early breast cancer who have been treated with Herceptin in the past 12 months are advised to consult their oncologist to discuss the suitability of Nerlynx in their regime.