New Hope to Treat Women with Early Breast Cancer

by Ella

Media Release – April 28, 2024


Albanese Government Expands Access to Abemaciclib (Verzenio®) for Women with Early Breast Cancer


For the first time in 15 years, women facing an invasive form of early breast cancer with a high risk of recurrence following initial treatment will have access to an additional medicine, thanks to the Albanese Government’s decision to expand the listing of abemaciclib (Verzenio®) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).


Commencing from May 1, 2024, Verzenio will be extended on the PBS to provide treatment for patients with hormone receptor positive (HR+), human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-), lymph node positive, invasive, resected early breast cancer at high risk of disease recurrence.


Despite undergoing surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and ongoing hormone therapy, women with this form of breast cancer face a one-in-three chance of cancer recurrence.

Breast cancer stands as the most prevalent cancer among women, with approximately 57 Australians receiving a diagnosis each day.

Early breast cancer refers to invasive cancer contained within the breast, potentially involving lymph nodes in the breast or armpit. HR+, HER2- breast cancer represents the most common form, encompassing around 70% of all cases.

Verzenio operates by inhibiting the action of specific overactive proteins that stimulate cancer cell growth, effectively slowing or halting cancer cell proliferation.

This pivotal listing is anticipated to benefit approximately 2,400 patients annually. Without subsidy, patients could face costs of up to $97,000 per treatment course.

Under the PBS listing, eligible patients will only be required to pay a maximum of $31.60 per script, or a reduced fee of $7.70 with a concession card.

Minister Butler’s Statement:

Minister Butler commented, “Every year, thousands of Australian women confront a lifechanging breast cancer diagnosis. The Albanese Government is steadfast in ensuring that each woman receives the latest and most effective treatment at an affordable cost. The listing of Verzenio will prove beneficial to thousands of Australian women, exemplifying the government’s commitment to providing access to affordable medicines.”


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