Get the Facts
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
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.