Leukaemia Foundation supports better access to clinical trials for all Australians
Friday, 3 May 2019
The Leukaemia Foundation says recent commitments from each major political party to support better access to clinical cancer trials are a pivotal step toward improving outcomes for Australians living with blood cancers.
The Leukaemia Foundation has welcomed the latest $100 million commitment from the Federal Government to provide rural, regional and remote Australians with better access to clinical cancer trials.
Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said the Leukaemia Foundation already recognised there were inequalities in treatment access and survival outcomes for people with blood cancer, depending on where they lived in Australia.
“The significant difference in treatment access is not good enough and the Leukaemia Foundation is committed to working with the incoming government and our partners to move this conversation forward and ensure equal access and improved treatment outcomes for all Australians.”
The weekend announcement followed commitments from both major parties last week to support blood cancer initiatives. Opposition Leader Bill Shorten announced a $20 million commitment for a Right to Trial program and the establishment of a Ministerial Advisory Board, while Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt committed to establishing a Blood Cancer Taskforce and Action Plan.
“This is a clear indication that providing access to the latest clinical trials and supporting an advisory board or taskforce to manage the needs of Australians living with blood cancers is a priority for both sides of government,” Mr Petch said.
Currently, close to 13,000 Australians are diagnosed with a blood cancer like leukaemia, lymphoma and myeloma every year , however recent analysis showed the number would increase to around 17,000 people  by 2025. This is close to 50 Australians projected to be newly diagnosed, every day, by 2025 – or two people every hour.
“The recent announcements ensure the needs of Australians living with blood cancers are firmly on the national agenda.”
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