October 15, 2013: Canadian Breast Cancer Network Calls for People Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer in Québec to Have Access to Life-saving Treatments


Ottawa, ON, October 15, 2013: The Canadian Breast Cancer Network (CBCN) is a national, survivour-directed organization committed to promoting the best quality of care for all Canadians affected by breast cancer. CBCN is expressing our concern that people living with metastatic breast cancer in Québec may not have access to all the available treatments they may need.

Recently we have learnt that there has been a delay in listing new oncology treatments, including those indicated for the treatment of metastatic breast cancer, to the Québec provincial drug formulary.

“For patients whose cancer has progressed, timely access to diverse treatment options is critical, “said CBCN Board Chair, Cathy Ammendolea. “As cancer spreads, treatment options for patients become extremely limited and the need for improved access to a wider variety of treatment options becomes more and more essential for a patient’s survival.”

Timely and affordable access to these treatments is paramount for effective patient care. The costs of many of these new oncology treatments are prohibitively expensive, and without adequate private insurance, many patients with metastatic breast cancer are left with little to no choice in their treatment. Patients simply cannot wait for new drugs to become affordable and many must resort to drastic measures to pay for their treatment.

We must do more to support patients with metastatic breast cancer. As more new and effective treatments for metastatic breast cancer emerge, it is imperative that they be made accessible to patients when they need them. Having access to new and more effective treatment will give patients a fighting chance to live much longer and spend precious time with loved ones.

We understand that a decision will be made on the listing status of many of these new metastatic drugs in the near future. We ask that the Québec government ensure that these drugs, that are so critical to helping people with metastatic breast cancer live longer and higher quality lives, be added to the provincial formulary in a timely fashion.

About CBCN
CBCN is the leading national, survivor-directed breast cancer organization in Canada. CBCN exists to voice the concerns of breast cancer survivors and promote the best quality of care for all Canadians affected by breast cancer. We endeavour to focus national attention on critical breast cancer issues and ensure that the concerns and needs of breast cancer survivors are addressed by decision makers in research and health care policy.

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For more information, or to set up an interview, please contact: Niya Chari at 613-230-3044 x231 ornchari@cbcn.ca.