For benefit, not for profit

The Beacon sat down with Barry Frost and John Hurley from For Benefit Medicines (FBM) to learn more about what motivates these unsung heroes to give back to those with breast cancer.

Regular readers of The Beacon will know that FBM has an agreement with BCNA where 50 per cent of all profits made from the sale of two breast cancer drugs (Anastrozole FBM and Letrozole FBM) are donated to BCNA to help us support Australians affected by breast cancer. The remaining 50 per cent is donated to Breast Cancer Institute of Australia to fund research into breast cancer treatments and hopefully a cure.

Barry and John say it all began 20 years ago when they met through a local baseball club. During a post-game drink, they came up with the unique business model that later became FBM. Rather than profits from the sale of drugs being sent overseas to parent companies and shareholders, Barry and John asked themselves ‘Why shouldn’t the money instead go to improving the health of Australians?’

Barry and John were motivated by their wish to make a genuine difference on a large scale, and were stimulated by the challenge of creating a profitable business that could give back as well as be an industry ‘game changer’. Barry also had a personal motivation, as someone close to him had been diagnosed with breast cancer.

Although breast cancer is the first disease to benefit from the FBM business model, their long-term vision stretches much further. In the future they hope to help those with leukaemia, cystic fibrosis and multiple sclerosis, as well as perhaps adding another breast cancer drug to their brand.

Barry and John are modest when they say, ‘This can’t be successful without the patients and the doctors … the patients are the real unsung heroes because they are the ones believing in us and supporting the idea … if they get behind us then we can change the world!’

John (left) and Barry presenting a cheque to BCNA Chair Kathryn Fagg (left) and BCNA CEO Christine Nolan

John (left) and Barry presenting a cheque to BCNA Chair Kathryn Fagg (left) and BCNA CEO Christine Nolan


Issue 78
Autumn 2017