Nerlynx access program now open

Media Release

11 February, 2020

Specialised Therapeutics Australia (STA), the pharmaceutical company that distributes Nerlynx (neratinib) in Australia, has opened a co-pay access program to help people who want to use Nerlynx as part of their breast cancer treatment. The cost to individuals will be $1,500 dollars per month up to a cap of $18,000, regardless of whether they are using Nerlynx for early or metastatic breast cancer.

The access program has been opened following a decision by Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the independent authority that makes recommendations to the Australian Government on which drugs should be added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), not to recommend Nerlynx for the PBS.

Minutes of the meeting explaining the decision are not yet publicly available, however this is the second time Nerlynx has been rejected by the PBAC. Breast Cancer Network Australia (BCNA) understands that no further applications will be made to have Nerlynx listed.

Nerlynx is an oral medication which is given in conjunction with an aromatase inhibitor. It is used to treat breast cancer that is HER2-positive and hormone receptor (HR) positive.

Treatment of early breast cancer

Clinical trials have shown that taking Nerlynx in combination with an aromatase inhibitor for 12 months can reduce the five-year risk of breast cancer returning by up to 42% when Nerlynx is started within one year of completing Herceptin.

Under the co-pay access program, Australians who have been treated with Herceptin for early breast cancer within the past 12 months may be eligible to receive 12 months’ of Nerlynx at a cost of $1,500 per month ($18,000 total payment).

If you are interested in Nerlynx, you should talk to your breast cancer specialist about whether it is appropriate for you. Please note that STA will assess all applications for the co-pay program on a case by case basis.

Treatment of metastatic breast cancer

In metastatic breast cancer, Nerlynx can be taken for as long as it is benefitting you.

The co-pay access program requires you to pay $1,500 per month up to a maximum of $18,000. After the $18,000 cap is reached, STA will provide Nerlynx free of charge for as long as it is clinically benefitting you.

If you are interested in Nerlynx, you should talk to your breast cancer specialist about whether it is appropriate for you. Please note that STA will assess all applications for the co-pay program on a case by case basis.

Source: Breast Cancer Network Australia.

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