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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

New PBS listing to bring hope for Australian breast cancer patients

Health Industry Hub | January 6, 2020 |

Effective 1 January 2020, Australians living with advanced breast cancer have access to an important new treatment option listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Eli Lilly’s Verzenio (abemaciclib) is a CDK4/6 inhibitor indicated for the treatment of hormone receptor positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer in combination with an aromatase inhibitor or fulvestrant as initial endocrine-based therapy, or following prior endocrine therapy. It is a new treatment option for approximately 3,000 Australian patients with this type of breast cancer.

Verzenio’s efficacy and safety in combination with anti-estrogen therapy were established in two large, multi-centre clinical trials – MONARCH 2 and
MONARCH 3.

Despite appropriate administration of adjuvant (or neoadjuvant) endocrine therapy, many patients with early HR+ breast cancer will eventually relapse. CDK4/6 inhibition in the adjuvant or neoadjuvant period provides a potential option for improvement in relapse rates among patients with early disease. New insights may be available from the neoMONARCH study (NCT02441946) and the monarchE study (NCT03155997).

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It is estimated more than 19,000 women and 160 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2020. Australia has one of the highest survival rates for breast cancer in the world, with the five-year survival rate at almost 91 per cent.

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