Women diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer will have access to new treatment through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Trastuzumab deruxtecan (Enhertu®) will be listed on the PBS to treat patients who have been diagnosed with metastatic (Stage IV) human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) positive breast cancer.
Breast cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer amongst women, with around 57 Australians diagnosed every day. Around one in five women diagnosed with breast cancer have HER2 positive cancer that is more aggressive and spreads faster.
Enhertu works by directly targeting the HER2 proteins expressed by this type of cancer, and kills the cancer cells.
Around 580 Australians are expected to benefit from this listing each year, who without subsidy, might pay more than $425,000 per course of treatment.
This PBS listing will mean that eligible patients will pay a maximum of $30 per script or just $7.30 with a concession card.
This treatment is available on the PBS from 1 November 2023.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Of the 20,000 Australians diagnosed with breast cancer each year, about 1000 have metastatic breast cancer at first diagnosis.
“For women battling this aggressive breast cancer it is simply out of reach to pay $425,00 per course of treatment.
“Thanks to the Government’s listing they will only pay a maximum of $30 per script.
“The listing of Enhertu will have a profound impact on patients lives – and the lives of the people around them.”
Quotes attributable to Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) Director Policy, Advocacy & Support Services Vicki Durston:
“BCNA supported the process for Enhertu to be considered for listing on the PBS and welcomes a government subsidy for this exciting new drug.
“This is a significant step towards achieving greater equity of access for a life prolonging drug like Enhertu.
“It is vital that we continue to improve access and reduce the financial burden of new breast cancer drugs, especially for metastatic breast cancer where there may be fewer options for treatment. They don’t have time to wait.”