The Cancer Drugs Alliance (CDA) welcomes the Senate Community Affairs References Committee report into the availability of new, innovative and specialist cancer drugs in Australia published on Thursday. The CDA calls on the Australian Government to adopt the recommendations of the report as a matter of urgency.
“The Committee’s recommendations for a comprehensive review of the system for the registration and subsidisation of medicines, and also the commissioning of a review into current data collection mechanisms for cancer medicines are a positive and important step forward for Australian cancer patients and their families,” said leading Australian oncologist and co-chair of the Cancer Drugs Alliance, Professor John Zalcberg.
“Australia has the highest incidence of cancer in the world. We have known for a long time that timely and affordable access to cancer medicines poses a significant challenge here, and we must work together to make our system more equitable.
“The recommendations of the Committee’s report are the vital next steps we need to take as a nation and we urge the Government to begin the transition to providing rapid access to affordable medicines to patients through meaningful reform.
“Until we have a truly modern, responsive and efficient reimbursement system, Australian patients and their families will continue to suffer. “Australian patients must be front and centre in any decisions – including funding – that affect access to cancer medicines through the PBS. What is the point of finding cures for cancer if we cannot rapidly deliver these cures to those who need them?” said Professor Zalcberg.
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