New breast cancer drug – we need your help

You may have seen news in the media about a new breast cancer drug called palbociclib (Ibrance). Palbociclib is used to treat hormone receptor positive, HER2-negative metastatic (secondary) breast cancer.

An international clinical trial found that giving palbociclib in combination with the hormone therapy drug letrozole doubles the length of time before the cancer spreads, from 10.2 months for women who took letrozole only to 20.2 months for women who took both drugs.

This is an exciting development for women with this type of metastatic breast cancer.

While palbociclib is already available in 52 other countries, it is not yet approved for sale in Australia, and so of course is not listed on the PBS. Australian women who want to use it must currently buy it from overseas, at a cost of around $10,000 per month.

Palbociclib is currently being considered for sale in Australia by decision makers. BCNA has an online petition to let the government know that this is an important new drug for women with breast cancer and that it needs to be available in Australia and listed on the PBS quickly so that women who are eligible for it can have access to it.

Help support women living with metastatic breast cancer by adding your voice to our campaign. Visit our website, bcna.org.au and add your name to the petition.

Issue 78
Autumn 2017