Access to cancer medicines in Australia

Bowel Cancer Australia Working-Together-Oncology-Taskforce 770

Bowel Cancer Australia is a strong advocate for improved access to effective treatments for bowel cancer. 

As a national cancer consumer organisation, Bowel Cancer Australia contributes the national discussion on 'timely, affordable and equitable' patient access to cancer medicines.

Bowel cancer is Australia's second biggest cancer killer and survival rates lag well behind other common cancers.

Increased awareness of bowel cancer, its risk factors and symptoms, along with improved access to and participation in screening programs will help reduce this toll, but patients will still require access to cancer medicines.

In the context of an ageing population however, bowel cancer will continue to be a significant contributor to morbidity and mortality in Australia into the foreseeable future.

Medicines Australia's report Access to Cancer Medicines in Australia highlights a number of issues and challenges which Bowel Cancer Australia believes deserve further comment.

In particular for bowel cancer, the increasing role of biological and targeted cancer therapies provides a necessary focus on the high cost of these new treatments and associated technologies.

Cost is a recognised barrier in timely and equitable access to these cancer treatments.

Cancer patients with advanced disease cannot afford to wait months or years for treatments that have been evaluated and proven to be effective.

Patients and their families should never be placed in the position where they are faced with the decision of going into debt, mortgaging their homes, or forgoing treatment and the possibility of precious extra time with their loved ones.

Medicines Australia represents the pharmaceutical industry in Australia.  Their member companies supply 86 per cent of the medicines that are available to Australian patients through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme as well as providing a range of other medicines and vaccines to the Australian community.

Visit the Medicines Australia website.