Accessing Cancer Medicines in Australia
Pharmaceutical company Bristol-Myers Squibb has developed a new guide to access to cancer medicine in Australia. The guide includes information on what it takes to get a new cancer medicine from discovery to patients, and information on how medicines are regulated in Australia. There is also a clear explanation of the avenues to explore to access new medicines before they are registered on the PBS or approved by the TGA.
Download or read the pdfs.
A clinical trial is a research study that helps to determine whether a new drug or device is safe and/or effective. Each study is designed to answer questions and find better ways to screen, diagnose, prevent or treat a disease or condition. They may be sponsored by pharmaceutical companies, the government or other organisations.
Why are Clinical Trials valuable? An introductory video, produced by Breast Cancer Trials and Australian and New Zealand Urogenital and Prostate Cancer Trials Group (ANZUP), is available to view here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CuPU6a3rDlw
The Cancer Council Victoria has an easy to use trial search facility here.
The Australian Clinical trials website contains links to other websites, which have listings of clinical trials and is searchable by disease or keyword.
Some trials might be at a pre-registration stage, some open and some closed.
The first website above is derived from entries in the US clinicaltrials.gov website and the ANZCTR website. You can also independently go to the US website http://clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/search/advanced and enter the words "brain tumours" and "Australia" (no quotation marks) in the relevant search boxes.
This is a link to the (Australian) Cooperative Trials Group for Neuro-Oncology (COGNO). According to its website "COGNO's main aim is to conduct investigator-initiated and collaborative group trials addressing important clinical questions in patients with brain tumours." The use of the words "investigator-initiated" in the context of clinical trials implies that they have not been initiated by pharmaceutical companies.
Knowledge about the status of available trials tends to be passed by word of mouth among oncologists, so you should also ask if your oncologist is planning to be involved in any trials or knows of centres which will be involved. Ask your oncologist about your suitability for any current or emerging trials.
BTAA lists clinical trial information here as it comes to our attention as a public service.
Clinical Trials websites
- Australia Cancer Trials website - Cancer Australia site
- Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry
- ClinicalTrials.gov - worldwide trials
- Cancer Trials Australia
- Trans-Tasman Radiation Oncology Group
- Clintrial - for patients in QLD and NSW
- Victorian Cancer Trials - Cancer Council Victoria - Victorian patients
- South Australian Cancer Trials - Cancer Council SA - South Australian patients