Lifeline for cancer sufferers


Lifeline for cancer sufferers

Thousands of women have been offered a lifeline, with the Federal Government set to subsidise two medicines that allow those battling breast cancer to live longer and better.

Ibrance and Kisqali, two drugs designed for women with metastatic hormone receptor negative cancer, had cost $5000 a month, but are now in line for a subsidy which will slash the cost to $39.50 a month. Working alongside hormone blockers called aromatase inhibitors, Ibrance and Kisqali help to stop the buildup of cell resistance to hormone blocking treatment. The treatment has the ability to control the disease on average for up to two years, as compared to one year on hormone blockers alone.

Australian women had been raiding their superannuation to afford the medicines or travelling to Malaysia and Hong Kong where they are cheaper. Recently more than 600 Australian women have benefited from compassionate access schemes run by drug companies Novartis, which makes Kisqali, and Pfizer, which makes Ibrance.

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