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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Pfizer and McGrath Foundation boast a decade-plus partnership in the fight against breast cancer

Health Industry Hub | October 23, 2023 |

Pharma News: In a heart-warming tribute to Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Pfizer Australia marked 13 years of collaboration with the McGrath Foundation, a pivotal partnership that has contributed a staggering $1.2 million to support the McGrath Breast Care Nurse program. The event, held at Pfizer’s Sydney site at Barrack Place on October 19, was attended by co-founder and President of the McGrath Foundation, the revered Australian cricket legend, Glenn McGrath.

This long-standing partnership has been instrumental in advancing the mission of the McGrath Foundation, which, since 2005, has been a beacon of hope for individuals and families facing the formidable challenge of breast cancer. The Foundation’s core endeavour is to fund McGrath Breast Care Nurses who offer unwavering support to patients throughout their cancer journey – from diagnosis to treatment. Remarkably, these vital services are provided to patients entirely free of charge.

Pfizer is advancing its breast cancer portfolio and pipeline to improve overall survival and quality of life. Within the latest include real-world evidence for Ibrance (palbociclib), an oral first-in-class inhibitor of cyclin-dependent kinases (CDKs) 4 and 6, as a first-line treatment of metastatic breast cancer. Pfizer and Arvinas also announced the Phase 1/2 data for vepdegestrant (ARV-471) at the 2023 European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) Annual Congress. Vepdegestrant is a novel oral PROTAC estrogen receptor (ER) degrader that is being jointly developed by Arvinas and Pfizer for the treatment of patients with locally advanced or metastatic ER positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) negative (ER+/HER2-) breast cancer.

Speaking at the Pfizer event, Mr McGrath passionately stated “Our McGrath Breast Care Nurses are a vital support for individuals and their families during one of the most challenging periods of their lives. They provide physical, psychological, and emotional support for patients throughout their cancer experience. Our nurses offer meaningful support, providing clarity to patients about their treatment and reducing their anxiety.”

The inspiration behind the McGrath Foundation is deeply personal for Mr McGrath, as he co-founded the organisation with his late wife, Jane McGrath. Jane’s own battle with breast cancer, and the profound impact of her breast care nurse, crystallised the Foundation’s mission to ensure that every family grappling with breast cancer would have access to a breast care nurse, regardless of their location, and at no cost. Tragically, Jane McGrath passed away in 2008 at the age of 42, but her legacy lives on in the form of the 50 McGrath Breast Care Nurses she helped secure funding for.

Anne Harris, Pfizer Australia & New Zealand Managing Director, expressed “Partnering with the McGrath Foundation has been instrumental in helping Pfizer execute its purpose: to deliver breakthroughs that change patients’ lives. Working with organisations like the McGrath Foundation, which plays a critical role in caring for people living with breast cancer, helps us understand the patient perspective and embed this into everything we do.”

As the event unfolded, Mr McGrath was joined by McGrath Breast Care Nurses who shared their passionate commitment to providing care and solace to patients. Kerry Patford, Chief Nurse of the McGrath Foundation, and one of the original McGrath Breast Care Nurses, underlined the invaluable role these nurses play.

She stated, “Navigating breast cancer treatments can be complex, and patients are often overwhelmed with the amount of information they receive. To provide that understanding and assurance to patients is rewarding. Our nurses are a trusted, consistent, and knowledgeable support for families, offering medical expertise, clinical care, and psychosocial support from the time of diagnosis and throughout treatment.”

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