The Federal Government is in negotiations with the makers of Yervoy to get it listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The drug was approved for Australian use by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in November last year.
It is already subsidised in more than a dozen countries, including the UK and the US.
Australia has the highest rate of skin cancer in the world, with the disease claiming 1,200 lives each year.
But with the new treatment costing $120,000, Yervoy is out of reach to most sufferers.
The drug is currently available at a subsidized rate overseas. Amongst other people suffering through cancer, a friend of ours is currently suffering from inoperable skin cancer that has spread to his lungs and bowel. He has been advised that he has months to live and as a father of 3 children under 6 he'd love to be able to trial the drug that has a chance to improve his life expectancy by 30 - 40% - obviously this is time that would be cherished.
Without the drug being put on the subsidies list the cost - again, around $120,000 per treatment - is money that the family cannot afford.
Please join us in petitioning the government to fast track Yervoy onto the PBS Scheme, thank you.
- Julia Gillard/Australian Government PBS
- Bristol-Myers Squibb (Manufacturers of Yervoy)
Please help save lives and increase the duration of lives of those in need. Add the Melanoma Cancer drug Yervoy to the subsidies list to make it affordable for those who desperately require it. Your assistance would be greatly appreciated in this urgent matter.
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