WOMEN at higher risk of developing breast cancer who are prescribed the drug Tamoxifen are now able to access the drug under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Orange oncologist Dr Peter Fox says although the drug has been available for several years and is widely prescribed for women diagnosed with breast cancer, the availability of the drug for women at higher risk of developing breast cancer is a new and welcome initiative by the government.
Retired breast cancer surgeon Dr Stuart Porges said he was pleased to learn the federal government had approved the drug’s placement on the PBS for women who showed a predisposition to developing cancer, and the drug would be cheaper.
“It is a very simple and effective drug with very few side-effects for women who are oestrogen receptor positive,” he said.
Dr Porges had several patients who were involved in trials to determine the effectiveness of Tamoxifen five and even 10 years on from surgery and other cancer treatments.
“This has been a fantastic drug for so many patients over the years,” he said.
The drug’s placement on the PBS follows a trial by the Australia and New Zealand Breast Cancer Trials Group.
Director of research Professor John Forbes AM said the announcement was further recognition of the importance of breast cancer clinical trials research.
“Approximately 16,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia each year and one in eight women will be diagnosed by the time they turn 85,” he said.
“Many patients from the Central West have benefited from Tamoxifen and will continue to do so,” Dr Fox said.
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