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Medicines Access

Demand Access
Support Timely and Affordable Access to Cancer Medicines
Australia has the highest age-standardised incidence of cancer in the world. 1 in 2 Australians will develop cancer in their lifetime and 1 in 5 will die from cancer before the age of 85 years.

Cancer kills 45,000 Australians each year accounting for 3 in 10 deaths. Australia is known for having the highest rate of prostate cancer and melanoma and the third highest rate of breast cancer in the world.

Life-extending drugs exist and patients in other countries have access to them; while Australia falls behind and cancer patients here face significant delays and expense in accessing new cancer drugs, or worse they miss out altogether.

Cancer patients unfortunately do not have the luxury of time to wait months or in some cases years; Australian patients need, expect and deserve timely access to available cancer medicines.

Experiences of other countries demonstrate that we can address the issues of timely and affordable access for patients now and in learning from other countries we have an opportunity to improve the outcomes of Australian cancer patients now.

Do you support the need for timely and affordable access to cancer medicines for Australian patients?

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Australian patients can no longer afford to be
left behind – we must act on their behalf and
WE MUST ACT QUICKLY.

Get the Facts

19%
Cancer is the leading cause of the total burden of disease and injury in Australia.
1 in 2
Australians will develop cancer in their lifetime
1 in 5
Australians will die from cancer before the age of 85
3 in 10
Deaths are cancer related, killing 45,000 Australians each year
Incidence
Australia has the highest age-standardised incidence of cancer in the world
Australian patients need, expect and deserve timely access to available cancer medicines.

Despite recent approvals of individual cancer medicines, there is no consistent, transparent and timely approval process for cancer medicines in Australia.

The PBS, formed over 60 years ago, has served Australians well but has not kept pace with technological advances in cancer treatment and clinical practice.

The PBS system is not equipped to respond quickly to advances in medical treatment, particularly in cancer where treatments are becoming more individualised – i.e. responding to genetic conditions, and therefore being more effective for a targeted group of patients.

Furthermore, Australian patients wait longer than many other countries to access the same cancer medicine.

Australia urgently needs to change the way in which cancer patients access the best available medicines, and we must all work together to reform the PBS system so that it works for cancer patients in a timely and affordable way.

Australia is now falling behind other countries while patients face significant delays in accessing new cancer drugs, or worse they miss out altogether.

What is Our Objective?

The Cancer Drugs Alliance is calling on the Government to recognise the enormity of the problems faced everyday by patients across Australia, with respect to access to cancer medicines, and to work with all stakeholders to deliver the solutions necessary to save lives.

The Cancer Drugs Alliance is appealing for an urgent, comprehensive review of current funding processes in an effort to establish long-term, sustainable strategies that enable equitable, broader and timely access to new cancer medicines.

The CDA does not advocate for any one particular cancer treatment, we seek to improve access for all Australian cancer patients. By bringing together the expertise of all those engaged in cancer care, treatment and support we aim to deliver world’s best practice in cancer care and treatment in Australia.

Australian patients need, expect and deserve timely and affordable access to available cancer medicines and we know that, collectively, we can make the changes necessary to improve access for Australian patients.