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Addressing the challenges of access to new cancer medications

Kate Vines – Head of Patient Care, Rare Cancers Australia – Access must be a priority

As the Head of Patient Care for Rare Cancers Australia, Kate Vines talks with cancer patients daily. Some of the hardest conversations she has in her job has are with people facing the challenge of getting access to a new drug which hasn’t been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

In these moments, patients are often left weighing up their choices sometimes being forced into finical hardship to get access to treatment that haven’t yet been listed on the PBS. Which is why the members of the Medicines Australia’s Oncology Industry Taskforce (OIT) are united in their commitment to work collaboratively with Government, clinicians, and patients to address the challenge of access to cancer medicines.

This video has been made as part of the release by Deloitte Access Economics of its Access to Cancer Medicines in Australia report. To find out more, and to read the report in full, click here.

Richard Vines – Chairman, Rare Cancers Australia – Funding medicines is what the community expects

With increasing uncertainty around the valuation of medicines, Richard Vines (Chairman of Rare Cancers Australia) believes we need to “get clever” with how we’re using medical data.

Real-world data refers to observational health care information collected outside of randomised controlled trials. It can come from registries, electronic health records, and administrative data sets.

Cancer stakeholder groups recognise the need for data to drive and inform decisions and support greater investment in the area of real-world evidence. According to Richard, “if we get better at collecting data in the real world we can have a huge impact” and hopefully get new treatments into the hands of patients sooner.

This video has been made as part of the release by Deloitte Access Economics of its Access to Cancer Medicines in Australia report. To find out more, and to read the report in full, click here.

 

Professor John Zalcberg, Head, Cancer Research Program, Monash University

In an operating environment of increasing complexity, Professor John Zalcberg (Head, Cancer Research Program, Monash University) says one thing is clear: “everybody wants the same thing… to see patients benefit from the new treatment options”.

To address the challenge posed by ensuring equitable access to new cancer medications Government, clinicians and patients must work together. In the last 20 years we have seen a number of innovative medicines made available to Australians and in the next decade this number will increase exponentially. In line with these advances, Australian communities have benefited from increasing precision and reduced toxicity in cancer treatments, resulting in significant gains to overall survival and quality of life.

With more new and novel treatments coming in the next decade, timely, affordable and equitable patient access to new cancer medicines via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is a priority for the Oncology Industry Taskforce and Medicines Australia. By working together Professor Zalcberg is confident we can “turn cancer into a chronic disease rather than a death sentence”.

This video has been made as part of the release by Deloitte Access Economics of its Access to Cancer Medicines in Australia report. To find out more, and to read the report in full, click here.

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