ON A MISSION: Scott Bradshaw at St Helena on his walk from Brisbane to Sydney on Wednesday. Scott has branded drug rules as abs
ON A MISSION: Scott Bradshaw at St Helena on his walk from Brisbane to Sydney on Wednesday. Scott has branded drug rules as abs

Red tape holds up life-saving drugs

By NERIDA BLOK nblok@northernstar.com.au

SCOTT BRADSHAW says rules limiting the drug which could save the life of his fiance, Leanne Myles, are absurd.

Leanne, 28, a former Lismore girl now living in Brisbane, was diagnosed with an aggressive form of breast cancer two months ago after the birth of her second child.

She was told by doctors the drug, Herceptin, was her best chance of survival.

The drug is registered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme for the treatment of late stage cancer sufferers.

For those patients the drug, which costs the Australian government about $66,000 per year, per patient, is free.

"When I knew we could get the drug but not (for free) until she was in final stages of cancer, I thought it was absurd," Scott said. "A decision has been made to only administer the drug when there's no chance of survival ? why wouldn't you administer it at the beginning?"

Scott decided to earn the money to pay for Leanne's treatment and last Saturday set off on a 1000 kilometre fundraising walk from Brisbane to Sydney.

Collecting $140,000 so far, he will travel from Woodburn to Chatsworth today.

A spokesperson for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme said the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was aware of promising preliminary results of Herceptin.

However, she said the government needed to ensure that safety and effectiveness requirements in Australia for market approval were met.

"The TGA has encouraged Roche Pharmaceuticals (Herceptin sponsor) to submit an application for registration of this drug for early breast cancer," she said.

"At this time Roche has declined to provide the data to the TGA to commence this process. The TGA has advised Roche that it will treat a submission containing this information with some priority."

A Roche spokesperson said the company was currently preparing a submission to the TGA.

"Everyone is trying to make sure this is listed but at the same time processes need to be followed responsibly," he said.



Unmentionable theatre play about hard life choices

premium_icon Unmentionable theatre play about hard life choices

Cock is a play about a man and a woman competing for the same lover

There's a house for everyone, no matter your budget

premium_icon There's a house for everyone, no matter your budget

Lismore houses offer a home for all budgets

Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers

premium_icon Up to 'eight' potential buyers eye off Kimberley Kampers

Former employees are owed more than $1 million

Local Partners