Home » Children with rare cancer given free access to treatment at home, after previously being forced to travel to US for $500,000 drug

Children with rare cancer given free access to treatment at home, after previously being forced to travel to US for $500,000 drug

Children with rare cancer given free access to treatment at home, after previously being forced to travel to US for 0,000 drug

In short:

The Commonwealth will fund interim arrangements to make a medication to treat neuroblastoma freely available in Australia.

The drug was not available in Australia and required families to spend hundreds of thousands to pursue overseas.

What’s next?

Hospitals will be able to make the medication available almost immediately, as an interim measure while it awaits PBS approval.

Australian children and young adults with neuroblastoma, a cancer that affects the nervous system, will be given a desperately needed lifeline to access medicine previously only available by travelling overseas.

There are about 20 Australian children with high-risk neuroblastoma, which most commonly affects babies and children under 5 years old.

Last month, the ABC reported the story of two-year-old Luna, who had endured five rounds of chemotherapy, surgeries, a bone marrow transplant and immunotherapy as part of her treatment for the rare cancer.

Luna’s family and others had pleaded for access to a promising medication that could help to treat the cancer, but which was exorbitantly expensive and not yet approved in Australia.

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