Ground breaking win for cancer patients

By Justin Ware. Published at Jul 31, 2017, in Features

As soon as tomorrow, lung and renal cancer patients will be able to get their hands on Opdivo.

Opdivo is a type of immunotherapy that differs from chemotherapy and other radiation treatments by activating the body’s immune system to combat cancer cells directly.

Until now, a one off treatment of Opdivo would cost A$5,000, or over A$100,000 per year. Thanks to the Federal Government, it will now be available for just A$38.80 per treatment, or A$6.30 with a concession card.

Unfortunately, lung cancer is one of the leading killers in Australia, claiming 8,000 lives per year. Opdivo’s addition to the PBS could lower that number significantly.

In clinical trials of the drug, tumours were partially or completely shrunk in 19% of patients, a seven percent increase over chemotherapy. Furthermore, patient’s risk of death was reduced by 27% over chemotherapy patients in the same trial.

“This drug changes and saves lives,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said on March 30, “for patients and their families it provides the precious gift of a full and healthy life”.

Hunt believes Opdivo’s addition to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is a substantial development for cancer sufferers, “the most uplifting thing is to see breakthroughs that save lives, transform families and give people real hope – and that’s exactly what Opdivo does.”

Opdivo rose to prominence in the public arena after AFL star Jarryd Roughead credited it with saving his life.

Roughead suffered an aggressive return of melanoma which spread to his lungs in 2016. Amazingly he was cancer free just months later, “I’ve had a complete ­response to the treatment so far and (my doctor has) given me the all-clear to get back to living normally, to doing things I want — which is playing footy and living my life,” he said.

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd (CAR No.433913) is a corporate authorised representative of LeMessurier Securities Pty Ltd (AFSL No. 296877). The information contained in this article is general information only. Any advice is general advice only. Neither your personal objectives, financial situation nor needs have been taken into consideration. Accordingly you should consider how appropriate the advice (if any) is to those objectives, financial situation and needs, before acting on the advice.

Conflict of Interest Notice

S3 Consortium Pty Ltd does and seeks to do business with companies featured in its articles. As a result, investors should be aware that the Firm may have a conflict of interest that could affect the objectivity of this article. Investors should consider this article as only a single factor in making any investment decision. The publishers of this article also wish to disclose that they may hold this stock in their portfolios and that any decision to purchase this stock should be done so after the purchaser has made their own inquires as to the validity of any information in this article.

Publishers Notice

The information contained in this article is current at the finalised date. The information contained in this article is based on sources reasonably considered to be reliable by S3 Consortium Pty Ltd, and available in the public domain. No “insider information” is ever sourced, disclosed or used by S3 Consortium.