Cancer drugs delayed

1213599_pillsAustralian cancer patients may be missing out on the best treatments due to delays in having them approved by regulators, according to new research, SMH reports.

Researchers from Melbourne’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute have found that 43 per cent of treatment regimens used at the hospital were not included on the government’s list of subsidised medicines, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The researchers found that 192 of the 448 regimens – a drug or combination of drugs used to treat a particular cancer – were not PBS-listed.

The drugs’ exclusion from the PBS list was due in most cases to them being used in a different way to that approved by Australia’s national drug regulator, the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

This was despite the uses of the drugs being supported by established treatment guidelines and published research, according to the authors of the study published in the Internal Medicine Journal.

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