Arimidex added to PBS for early breast cancer
The Australian Government has agreed to extend the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of the breast cancer treatment, Arimidex®, to help many more postmenopausal breast cancer patients from 1 December 2005.
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21 October 2005
The Commonwealth Government has agreed to extend the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of the breast cancer treatment, Arimidex®, to help many more postmenopausal breast cancer patients from 1 December 2005.
There were a total of 11,886 new cases of breast cancer in 2001, with 76 per cent of cases in women aged 50 years or older.
Arimidex® has been available for some time on the PBS for the treatment of advanced breast cancer, but only available for early breast cancer to those women who cannot take tamoxifen. The extension to the listing of Arimidex® on the PBS will make it available on a subsidised basis for all postmenopausal women with early stage breast cancer.
Approximately 5,700 patients will become eligible for treatment with Arimidex® in the first 12 months of listing and this will increase to approximately 24,000 new patients in the fifth year of listing. Arimidex® offers these women a longer period of disease free survival, or a longer period free of recurrence of breast cancer. Arimidex® is also associated with a significant reduction in the risk of experiencing a new primary breast cancer.
The annual cost to the PBS will be approximately $2,300 per patient for Arimidex®. The extension to the listing of Arimidex® will add approximately $75 million to PBS expenditure over the four years to 2009-10.
In the last financial year, the government spent more than $24 million on subsidising breast cancer specific treatments, such as Femara® and tamoxifen, through the PBS. In addition, more than $133 million was spent on subsidising other treatments, such as Taxotere® and Zoladex®, which are used in treating various types of cancer, including breast cancer.
For more information call Mr Abbott's office on ph 02 6277 7220.
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