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Leukaemia Foundation supports latest Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listings for blood cancer patients

The Leukaemia Foundation has welcomed news Australians living with Philadelphia chromosome B-cell precursor acute lymphocytic leukaemia (B-ALL) will now have access to treatment options blinatumumab (Blincyto®) and inotuzumab ozogamicin (Besponsa®) through the Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS) effective October 1, 2019.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch joined Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP and industry leaders today at the Northern Cancer Institute in Sydney for the announcement.

Mr Petch said the extended listing gives Australians living with relapsed or refractory B-ALL access to vital precision medicine and front-line treatment to fight their disease.

“This is an important announcement for people living with B-ALL, which is an acute and incredibly aggressive form of blood cancer. These PBS listings means there are more options available for B-ALL patients, so it is welcomed by the blood cancer community” he said.

“Today is also an important day for the blood cancer community as the National Blood Cancer Taskforce will meet for the first time this afternoon in Sydney.” Mr Petch said.

In response to the Leukaemia Foundation’s State of the Nation: Blood Cancer in Australia report1 release earlier this month, the Federal Minister for Health, The Hon. Greg Hunt MP announced the development of a national Blood Cancer Taskforce and charged the Leukaemia Foundation with delivering Australia’s first National Strategic Action Plan for Blood Cancer.

The Blood Cancer Taskforce unites Australia’s leading hematologists, researchers, patients and members of the blood cancer ecosystem for the first time to work with the Leukaemia Foundation to develop the National Strategic Action Plan, which will provide the blueprint to help tackle the key issues facing the blood cancer community today and into the future.

Mr Petch said the formation of the Taskforce and development of the National Strategic Action Plan together mark a major milestone for the blood cancer community and will set the national agenda around blood cancer for many years to come.

The Leukaemia Foundation provides free practical, emotional and educational support to Australians diagnosed with a blood cancer including B-ALL. The Leukaemia Foundation produces a series of disease specific newsletters including ALL News, and invites all Australians living with the disease to subscribe for ongoing information here.