CLL Support Association

Australian members - how to access new cancer drugs

Australian members - how to access new cancer drugs

The Australian Leukaemia Foundation has just released a 60+ page booklet 'Accessing non-PBS Funded Blood Cancer Drugs in Australia - A discussion tool for you and your specialist', which commences: "This booklet was written to help you and your family, navigate the complex system for accessing new blood cancer drugs in Australia, particularly ones that have not been funded on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Australia has one of the world’s best healthcare systems. Recent data indicates that our cancer patient survival rates are among the best in the world. This system provides everyone with equal access to safe, effective and affordable drugs for standard treatments through the PBS. However, for a few Australians some new and promising treatment options may not yet be funded by our healthcare system."

As we know, that last sentence particularly applies to new drugs for treating CLL...

Booklet contents:

* Background: the drug approval process in Australia

* Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA)

* What to consider when choosing the drug for you

* Should I get a second opinion?

* Deciding on the best drug for your treatment

* Accessing the drug for me that is available through a clinical trial

* Accessing the drug for me with help from the pharmaceutical company

* Accessing the drug for me via a hospital

* Medicine Access Program (MAP)

* The drug for me may be covered by private health insurance

* Accessing the drug for me by buying and/or importing a drug at its full price

* What about complementary medicines?

* Useful contacts for financial advice

You can download the booklet in PDF format here:


2 Replies

Thanks for posting this.


Thanks Neil for posting this. Does anyone know if there is a similar guide for the UK where it is increasingly apparent that the nhs will not fund some new effective drugs? I see there is a cancer drugs fund consultation out which, if implemented, will put a limit of £30,000 a year on drugs which I assume will rule out ibrutinib ( despite the recent reprieve).


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