Medical and Scientific: Cancer conundrum

01 Apr 2021 - Medical and Scientific

Women with aggressive breast cancers are unable to access a groundbreaking treatment for chemo-resistant tumours at an affordable price, even though other cancer types are subsidised. Many patients are self-funding courses of the immunotherapy drug Keytruda, which has had promising results treating breast cancer, at a cost of about $6000 per treatment. Keytruda is approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for bowel cancer and melanomas, but has not yet been funded for breast cancer as final trial results are still pending. Even once those results are in, the TGA system requires drug manufacturer MSD Australia to resubmit applications for funding through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for each cancer type individually, even though it is the same treatment.

Herald Sun; 01/04/2021; Page 21; Daily Telegraph; 01/04/2021; Page 21