EVEN MORE PUBLIC INPUT IS VITAL OR MANY WILL STILL BE DENIED THIS ESSENTIAL DRUG. This updates my last post dated
Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga, Janssen Cilag Pty., Ltd.) is one of the few effective new drugs proven to prolong life and delay the onset of pain and the need for opiates in patients with advanced prostate cancer. Abiraterone arrests cancer progression and inhibits the development of distant metastases for a significant period. It postpones the need for unpleasant chemotherapy drugs. Evidence for this was presented at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology in June, 2012.¹ ² This followed publication of the original clinical trial COU-AA-302 in the New England Journal of Medicine on May 26, 2011.¹
On 1st March, 2012 (under Section 28 of the Therapeutic Goods Act 1989), abiraterone was approved for treatment of castrate resistant metastatic prostate cancer (mCRPC) but only after patients have already been treated with chemotherapy.³ It is not approved for “chemotherapy-naïve”patients (those who have not yet had chemotherapy) even though they also have advanced cancer and are incurable. They are the “excluded ”group. It has been recommended but not yet approved for subsidy via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
An application from (Janssen Australia) has recently been recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) but only on behalf of mCRPC patients whose cancer has progressed in spite of enduring the unpleasant side effects of chemotherapy with a“taxane”.³ This means that those patients in the “excluded” group will not be permitted the more effective treatment when it will do the most good and without the side effects of the alternative, chemotherapy.
The PBAC has already acknowledged that abiraterone has a better safety profile and is more convenient to administer (oral administration) than cabazitaxel. ³ Janssen R&D in the
Therefore, in order to survive longer and postpone the ravages of secondary cancer the mCRPC “excluded”group would to pay the full price to receive treatment with abiraterone. Information from the supplier puts the approximate cost at $3,300 per month, thus placing it out of reach of all but the richest Australians.
These restrictions derive from criteria set by the PBAC designed to minimize financial cost.³ The rules are oppressive. Cost savings are to be achieved at the expense of the pain and suffering and the faster track to death determined by government edict for mCRPC sufferers.
In November 2012 the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended listing Abiraterone on a cost-minimisation basis with cabazitaxel and cost‑effectiveness basis when compared with best supportive care (see URL http://goo.gl/UhVu1 ).
Support for: Abiraterone in Metastatic Prostate Cancer without Previous Chemotherapy
Your support for this proposal would be much appreciated. How? simply click on the following URL (or paste it into the address pane in your web browser). Then "sign" the prepared email petitioning the federal minister for health to cover the cost for the excluded patients under the PBS: https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/pbs-should-pay-for-abirterone-for-all-incurable-prostate-cancer-patients#.html