Investment in liver cancer medicines matched with prevention are changing Australian lives

Hepatitis Australia

Hepatitis Australia welcomes the Australian Government’s significant investment of $230 million to expand the listing of Tecentriq® and Avastin® (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for use in combination to treat patients with advanced unresectable (inoperable) hepatocellular carcinoma.

“Hepatitis B and C are Australia’s leading causes of liver cancer, and liver cancer is the fastest increasing cause of cancer mortality in Australia,” said Carrie Fowlie, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Hepatitis Australia, the national peak body for viral hepatitis.

“Inoperable hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer with tragically one of the lowest survival rates of all cancers.” said Ms Fowlie

“Hepatitis Australia called for the listing of these life changing liver cancer medicines on the PBS, and congratulates the Minister for Health Greg Hunt and the Australian Government for taking action.”

“These liver cancer medicines are shown to increase survival rates, decrease disease progression, and provide more time with higher quality of life and physical functioning for patients.”

“Hepatitis Australia applauds the Australian Government’s commitment to affordable medicines, and to improve the health outcomes for people impacted by viral hepatitis.”

“Hepatitis Australia supports the Australian Government’s commitment to cancer prevention is calling for hepatitis-related cancer prevention to be a key element of the National Preventive Health Strategy.”

“Effective and accessible prevention interventions are crucial to Australia’s comprehensive cancer response. For liver cancer, this means hepatitis related harm reduction, hepatitis B vaccinations, testing, early diagnosis, treatment and care.”

“We congratulate Australian governments for their commitment to eliminate hepatitis by 2030. Hepatitis elimination is achievable and is essential to preventing liver cancer,” said Ms Fowlie.

“Hepatitis Australia stands with the Australian Government in ensuring the National Hepatitis Strategies’ 2022 targets are implemented to prevent cancer and improve the health and wellbeing of all Australians impacted by viral hepatitis,” said Ms Fowlie.

The National Hepatitis Infoline provides free, confidential support. Call 1800 437 222 to talk to someone in your State or Territory.

/Public Release.