Life-changing breast cancer medication for South West patients

A life-changing breast cancer medicine listed by the Turnbull Government on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will be available for South West patients from July 1 this year.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the investment of $703.6 million by the Government will mean that more than 3,000 Australian patients with inoperable or metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer will benefit from the 1 July listing of ribociclib (Kisqali®).

“Hormone receptor positive tumours are the most common form of breast cancer and account for most of the deaths from the disease,” Mrs Marino said.

“By inhibiting two proteins that drive the growth of tumour cells, ribociclib — used in combination with other drugs — will slow the progression of inoperable and metastatic breast cancers in some patients.

“This medication would otherwise cost patients around $71,820 per year but under the PBS patients will cost $39.50 per script while concessional patients will pay $6.40 per script.”

The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listing of Kisqali.

The Committee is by law and in practice, independent of Government in its deliberations. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from this committee.

“The Turnbull Government’s commitment to the PBS is rock solid,” Mrs Marino said.

“Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.”