Pills against prostate cancer should be promoted
A pill used to treat men with prostate cancer that is no longer stopped by low testosterone levels will be available at an affordable price, says the federal government.
The drug Nubeqa or Darolutamide will be listed in the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme from Monday.
The pill can be taken by men with prostate cancer that has not spread but is resistant to castration – that is, symptoms keep getting worse, cancer keeps growing, or antigen levels rise even though hormone therapy has lowered testosterone levels.
It usually costs more than $ 40,000 a year. With the grant, patients pay up to $ 41.30 per script.
The drug is designed to deprive cancer cells of the hormones they need to grow and divide, says manufacturer Bayer Australia.
“This drug offers an earlier line of treatment that will allow doctors to treat prostate cancer that is no longer responding to traditional testosterone-lowering treatment that is likely to spread,” said Associate Professor David Pook, a medical oncologist at Cabrini Hospital in Melbourne .
“We no longer have to wait to see cancer spots on CT scans and bone scans before starting treatment.
“We now have the opportunity to act sooner to delay the spread of prostate cancer.”
Prostate cancer is the second most common cancer among Australian men and the third leading cause of cancer death.
It’s more common in older men.
Early detection and treatment can significantly improve prostate cancer survival, said Health Secretary Greg Hunt.
He encouraged men over 50 to learn about the symptoms and speak to their GP if they have any concerns.