Many Australian men die from prostate cancer every year, most from advanced stages in the hormone resistant form
Abiraterone acetate (Zytiga) is a new proven medication that can prolong life and reduce pain in advanced prostate cancer sufferers. It has been shown to delay progression of the incurable hormone-refractory form of the cancer for months, and even years. The trouble is the drug costs around $3,500 per month.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) does not cover the cost of Zytiga for these patients unless they first endure chemotherapy and its unpleasant side-effects. Only when this remedy fails might they qualify. As a result they are condemned to more pain and an earlier death than they should be, all because of cost-cutting by government authorities. This is discrimination based on type of disease and is very unfair.
The bottom line is this drug is given earlier it will increase survival time, reduce suffering and delay the need for chemotherapy. Therefore these excluded patients should also be able to receive it free on the PBS.
Please show your support for these Australian men by signing the email below and “click” to forward it to the federal health minister.
For references and a detailed discussion of the subject, "Incurable prostate cancer patients denied new medication on the PBS" please CLICK here or paste the following URL into the address pane of your web browser:
PS.: 31 Dec, 2013: The Hon Peter Dutton MP is now the Minister for Health There have already been 5,689 letters supporting this petition sent to his predecessor, The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP. During this time Abiraterone has been approved for PBS subsidy those patients whose chemotherapy with Docetaxel has failed but not for those who will also succumb but could have a pain-free extension of life without enduring chemotherapy first. The FDA has approved this but not the Therapeutics Goods Administration (TGA). This petition is therefore ongoing in the hope that these men will get a fair go from him. Every new signature that supporters can get will help.