Women with breast cancer, their family, whanau and supporters are marching to Parliament on 16 October to present petitions to MPs – calling for the funding of breakthrough advanced breast cancer medicines Ibrance and Kadcyla.
Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition media release, 7 September 2018
New Zealand needs to stop treating people with advanced breast cancer as second class citizens, Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) says.
The coalition of more than 30 breast cancer-related group says a report out today by the Breast Cancer Foundation of New Zealand (BCFNZ) reveals the shockingly high mortality rates for New Zealand women compared to other comparable countries.
The Government must increase funding for medicines desperately needed by people with breast cancer and other cancers, Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) says.
“Women with breast cancer are going overseas, selling the family home and going into significant debt to get access to the medicines they need. A lot of women don’t have that option. This means if you have money or the ability to fundraise, you have a longer healthier life. That is a terrible inequity in our society today,” BCAC Chair Libby Burgess says.
Watch this powerful video of people with breast cancer explaining why they desperately need access to medicines that are currently unfunded in NZ - to stay alive and get more time with their families: Click here to watch: What price do you put on life?
We note that PHARMAC reported in June 2017 that the special $3.2 million fund they set up in 2007 to fund the SOLD Herceptin trial to see if 9 weeks of Herceptin could be as effective as 12 months, still had a balance of $319,000 uns
A wealth of knowledge has been brought back to New Zealand by two Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition representatives following the Breast Cancer Trials Australia New Zealand annual scientific meeting in Australia.
Committee members Louise Malone and Fay Sowerby attended to gather the latest intelligence to contribute to BCAC’s work supporting, informing and representing women with breast cancer.
Louise says it was impressive to see the huge amount of research underway and the big advances in understanding of breast cancer.
Recent international developments in breast cancer medicine approvals emphasise the need for a much broader range of medicines in New Zealand. Availability, combined with funding, would enable oncologists to choose the best medicines and combinations for individual patients, Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) says.
Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition and Breast Cancer Foundation NZ have made a strongly worded and evidence-based joint submission to PHARMAC requesting that funding for Perjeta (pertuzumab) be extended to all people with HER2-positive advanced breast cancer.
The submission was made to the Cancer Treatment Sub-committee (known as CaTSoP). At its September meeting, CaTSoP will consider applications for funding for the following breast cancer medicines – Perjeta, Kadcyla, Ibrance, Abraxane, Faslodex.
Representatives of Breast Cancer Aotearoa Coalition (BCAC) went to Wellington recently to meet with Government and National MPs who have health responsibilities to discuss some of the key issues affecting those with breast cancer.
The two key issues highlighted by BCAC in the talks were the need to improve access to medicines; and the need to address inequities for Māori and Pasifika women in breast cancer screening and treatment.