Thousands of Australian men living with metastatic prostate cancer will be armed with a new weapon in the fight for life, thanks to a new drug on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Nubequa has been specifically registered by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and will be used as part of a three-pronged treatment approach.
The drug will be available for eligible men who have hormone-sensitive cancer that has spread beyond the prostate to the lymph nodes, bone, lung and liver from December 1.
It will be used alongside chemotherapy and hormone therapy to treat the disease.
Genesis Care Medical oncologist Laurence Krieger said the drug works to "starve" cancer cells of the hormones they need to grow and divide.
Meanwhile, androgen deprivation (hormone) therapy blocks production of the cancer-stimulating hormones and chemotherapy works to destroy cancer cells.
"Sadly, prostate cancer remains the second greatest cancer killer of Australian men. New treatment options are desperately needed," Dr Krieger said..
Through the PBS, eligible concession card holders will pay $7.30 per month for the drug, while general patients will pay $30.
Without the PBS subsidy, these tablets could cost more than $42,000 each year, in addition to the cost of other anti-cancer medicines.
Prostate Cancer Foundation of Australia chief executive Anne Savage said almost 4000 Australian men are diagnosed with incurable stage three or four prostate cancers each year.
"The listing of medicines such as NUBEQA for more men is an important development for thousands of Australian fathers and sons," she said.
"However, we need to continue raising awareness so that all Australian men get a fair chance of detecting prostate cancer early, so that we can beat it."
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