Dr Anthony Lowe, Chief Executive of PCFA, and Mr John Stubbs, Executive Officer of canSpeak, have written to The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP, Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, in an effort to fast-track the listing of abiraterone on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
It is estimated that there are currently some 22,000 men living with advanced prostate cancer in Australia. In every case it is to be expected that, in time, the disease will become resistant to androgen deprivation therapy.
For men whose cancer is resistant to androgen deprivation therapy and who have failed chemotherapy, life expectancy is shortened. Abiraterone offers these men and their families improved quality of life, particularly in the later stages of the disease.
There are very few reimbursed treatment options for men with advanced prostate cancer. Abiraterone is the first of a new class of therapies that target the androgen receptor signalling pathway, the major driver of prostate cancer growth. These therapies offer the hope of improved survival and quality of life for men with prostate cancer. In the absence of listing, the cost of some $3,000 per month ($36,000 per annum) would be prohibitive to many of these, usually retired, men and their families.
PCFA is committed to reducing the impact of prostate cancer on the Australian community and ensuring men diagnosed with prostate cancer have the best available treatment options available to them throughout their prostate cancer journey.
To read a copy of the letter to Minister Plibersek click here