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New Treatment for High-Risk Early Breast Cancer in Australia

New Treatment for High-Risk Early Breast Cancer in Australia
Image courtesy of kihorsemed.com

The Breakthrough

The Australian government has approved a new treatment for patients with high-risk early breast cancer. From 1 May 2024, a medicine called VERZENIO™ (abemaciclib) will be available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), offering relief to approximately 1,800 Australians each year.

This approval marks a significant milestone in the fight against early breast cancer, as it’s the first new treatment in 15 years.

Understanding the Risk

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in Australian women, with an estimated 20,500 new cases expected in 2024. Most diagnoses occur in the early stages, confined to the breast or nearby lymph nodes.

Among these early cases, hormone receptor-positive (HR+) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) is the most common subtype, accounting for about 70% of cases. However, a one-in-three chance exists that the cancer may return, often as incurable advanced disease.

How VERZENIO™ Works

VERZENIO™ is a non-chemotherapy, oral medication that works by targeting and blocking specific proteins inside cancer cells. This action halts the replication and spread of the cells, providing a targeted approach to treating cancer.

When combined with hormone therapy, VERZENIO™ offers hope to patients facing high-risk early breast cancer.

Affordability and Accessibility

The government’s subsidy makes VERZENIO™ accessible at an affordable rate, reducing the cost from over $100,000 for the two-year treatment to just $7.70 for concession patients and $31.60 for general patients per month.

This cost reduction provides crucial access to those who may not have been able to afford the treatment otherwise.

The Impact on Australian Patients

This new development offers a brighter outlook for high-risk early breast cancer patients in Australia. The focus keyphrase for this advancement is “New Treatment for High-Risk Early Breast Cancer,” which signifies hope and progress in battling this devastating disease.

The PBS subsidy for VERZENIO™ marks a significant step forward in providing innovative treatments to those in need.

For further information about VERZENIO, please review the Consumer Medicine Information.

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