The Institut national d'excellence en santé et en services sociaux
refuses to list therapy, while other provinces fund the novel treatment
for men with metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer.
OTTAWA, March 27, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Following the recent update to the
list of medications covered by the basic prescription drug insurance
plan in Quebec, Canadian Cancer Survivor Network is very disappointed that INESSS did not recommend cabazitaxel, the
first and only chemotherapy to have shown a significant survival
benefit for men with metastatic hormone-refractory prostate cancer that
are not responding to other treatments.
This decision from INESSS not to list cabazitaxel on their provincial formulary, hence not making
it eligible for public reimbursement, limits access for patients with
advanced prostate cancer in Quebec.
"For those men living with prostate cancer in Quebec, this means that
they cannot access the product through the basic provincial coverage,"
said Jackie Manthorne, President of the Canadian Cancer Survivor
Network. "The inequalities and limits in access to this treatment
option are unacceptable. Access and availability to new options can
provide patients with a better chance of survival when dealing with
such a difficult illness".
This evaluation by INESSS once again highlights the current gaps in the
system and the reality of patients looking to access the right drug, at
the right time! "The province is moving away from this target" added
Ms. Manthorne. "This is a major setback for men dealing with the
disease and their families."
"Cabazitaxel fills a critical treatment gap; it is an important therapy
addition for patients living with advanced prostate cancer and helps
healthcare professionals in their efforts to treat those patients.
Hopefully the eventual availability of a drug like cabazitaxel will
signal the start of a new, more effective approach to help these
patients access the treatment," highlighted Dr. Saad, Chief of Urology
and Head of Urologic Oncology, CHUM.
The provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario have
already made JEVTANA® (cabazitaxel) available for reimbursement on
their public formulary. Reimbursement for prescription drugs is not
mandated by the Canada Health Act or any other federal legislation. Provincial governments independently
establish reimbursement plans.
"For the benefit of prostate cancer patients in Quebec and for the
clinical and therapeutic value this drug can bring, we strongly hope
INESSS will reconsider this decision," concluded Dr. Saad
About Prostate Cancer
In Canada, one man in seven men will develop prostate cancer and one in
28 will die of it1. It is the most frequently diagnosed cancer in men and its incidence
has increased by 30 percent since 1988. While it is most commonly
diagnosed after age 70, prostate cancer can also occur in men in their
forties and fifties.2
For many patients with prostate cancer, their disease continues to
progress despite prior treatment - including surgical and/or hormonal
castration followed by chemotherapy. Metastatic prostate cancer
indicates that the cancer has spread to the lymph nodes or other parts
of the body, particularly the bones. Castration
resistant/hormone-refractory prostate cancer means that the cancer has
continued to grow despite the suppression of male hormones that fuel
the growth of prostate cancer cells. An estimated 10-20% of patients
with prostate cancer are diagnosed when the cancer has already
About the Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN)
The Canadian Cancer Survivor Network was created by a group of Canadians
concerned about cancer. CCSN's mission is to empower collaborative
action by cancer patients, families and communities to identify and
work to remove barriers to optimal patient care, and to ensure that
cancer survivors have access to education and action opportunities to
have their voices heard in planning and implementing an optimal health
care system. CCSN is committed to educate the public and policy makers
about the financial, emotional and health costs of cancer and offer
considered, positive ideas and recommendations to alleviate their
effects. To learn more, visit www.survivornet.ca.
2 Prostate Cancer: Understand the Disease and its Treatment: Saad F,
McCormack M; Annika Parance Publishing; 2012, p. 25
SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Survivor Network (CCSN)
For further information:
Ms. Mona Forrest
Media relations, Canadian Cancer Survivor Network
For prostate cancer patient information:
Canadian Cancer Survivor Network: http://survivornet.ca/en
Prostate Cancer Canada: http://www.prostatecancer.ca/
Coalition priorité cancer au Québec: http://www.coalitioncancer.com/
Canadian Cancer Society: http://www.cancer.ca/
Fondation Québécoise du Cancer: www.fqc.qc.ca
The Cancer Research Society (CRS): http://www.crs-src.ca/
Patients' Association of Canada: http://patientsassociation.ca/