Government funds first-of-its-kind blood cancer fighting medicine

first_imgGovernment funds first-of-its-kind blood cancer fighting medicine JanssenGovernment funds first-of-its-kindblood cancer fighting medicineSydney, Australia 28 December, 2020 – Federal Government funding for a first-in-class medicine to treat a common and deadly form of blood cancer, multiple myeloma, by activating the patient’s immune system to identify and kill cancer cells,is being welcomed by medical experts, patients and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson.From 1 January 2021, Darzalex® (daratumumab) will become available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australians with multiple myeloma whose disease progresses after initial treatment. It will be used in combination with existing medicines, bortezomib and dexamethasone, after one prior line of treatment.Darzalex will be the first new type of medicine for multiple myeloma to be added to the PBS in more than a decade. It is a targeted therapy that works by attaching to a specific protein on the surface of a multiple myeloma cell, and by doing so triggers the patient’s immune system to attack and destroy multiple myeloma cancer cells.An estimated 1,000 Australians will be eligible for treatment with Darzalex each year. Eligible patients will now pay $41.30 (general patients) or $6.60 (concessional patients) for each phase of treatment*.Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that affects plasma cells found in the bone marrow. More than 2,000 new cases of multiple myeloma are expected to be diagnosed in Australia this year and approximately 1,000 people will lose their lives to the disease.Professor Andrew Spencer, Head of the Malignant Haematology & Stem Cell Transplantation Service at The Alfred Hospital in Melbourne, and one of the doctors involved in Australian clinical trials of Darzalex, welcomed the new subsidy, citing the serious need for new medicines to combat multiple myeloma.“Multiple myeloma is a very challenging cancer to treat. It is associated with high rates of relapse, treatment resistance, and poor prognosis,” he said.“After years of research, we now have an entirely new type of treatment to suppress the cancer during a critical window – when a patient no longer responds to initial treatment or their cancer returns after initial treatment,” he said.“Myeloma becomes progressively harder to treat after each relapse. The PBS subsidy only applies after a patient has had one prior line of treatment, giving patients access to Darzalex early in their disease course.”Professor H. Miles Prince AO, Director of Molecular Oncology and Cancer Immunology, Epworth Healthcare and of the Centre for Blood Cell Therapies at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, explained that the five-year survival rate for people with multiple myeloma is just 51 per cent meaning “approximately one in two patients will die within five years of their diagnosis”.“Darzalex is a novel medicine that targets the Achilles’ heel of the myeloma cancer cell, while simultaneously activating the body’s immune system to attack the cancer,” he said.“This is the first time we have been able to directly target myeloma cancer cells, while also putting the immune system to work against the cancer.”According to Myeloma Australia CEO, Steve Roach, Darzalex represents “the first major development in the way multiple myeloma is treated in more than 10 years”.7“Multiple myeloma claims the lives of far too many Australians. Patients and their families understand this reality. The PBS listing of Darzalex means access to a much-needed treatment without financial burden for eligible patients. This is a major milestone that will be warmly welcomed across the country,” he said.Bruce Goodwin, Managing Director, Janssen Australia and New Zealand, said: “Our company has a long and proud history in the treatment of multiple myeloma. The PBS listing of Darzalex gives doctors and patients a new way to fight this less common and deadly form of blood cancer”.“The Federal Government is to be commended for its significant investment in making important new medicines like Darzalex accessible to Australians in need,” he said.Darzalex was first approved in 2017. More than 1,000 Australians have been treated with Darzalex.Broadcast Quality Animation and Overlay available here.About Multiple MyelomaMultiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that affects plasma cells found in the bone marrow. Myeloma affects multiple (hence ‘multiple myeloma’) places in the body where bone marrow is normally active in adults, including within the bones of the spine, skull, pelvis, rib cage, and the areas around the shoulders and hips.As the cancer cells grow and spread, they can lead to bone pain and breakages, frequent infections, kidney damage and anaemia.The disease has a poor prognosis and each year claims around 1,000 Australian lives. Multiple myeloma is characterised by high rates of relapse,even if initial treatment results in remission. Typically, the cancer becomes more aggressive and more challenging to treat following each relapse.About DarzalexDarzalex is a first-in-class immunotherapy known as a CD38-directed monoclonal antibody. The therapy works by binding to CD38, a signalling molecule on the surface of multiple myeloma cells. In doing so, Darzalex triggers the patient’s immune system to attack cancer cells, resulting in tumour cell death.Based on extensive research, Darzalex is indicated for the treatment of multiple myeloma either alone or in combination with other therapies at various stages of the disease. Darzalex will become available through the PBS for treatment in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone for patients with multiple myeloma after one prior line of treatment.Darzalex is administered by infusion – initially every week, then once every three weeks and then monthly until the cancer progresses.All medicines may have side-effects. Darzalex may cause infusion-related reactions and may increase the incidence of upper respiratory tract infections. Other possible side effects observed when Darzalex is used in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone are decreases in blood cell counts, peripheral sensory neuropathy, diarrhoea, cough, fatigue, constipation, and back pain.* /Public Release. This material comes from the originating organization and may be of a point-in-time nature, edited for clarity, style and length. Why?Well, unlike many news organisations, we have no sponsors, no corporate or ideological interests. We don’t put up a paywall – we believe in free access to information of public interest. Media ownership in Australia is one of the most concentrated in the world (Learn more). Since the trend of consolidation is and has historically been upward, fewer and fewer individuals or organizations control increasing shares of the mass media in our country. According to independent assessment, about 98% of the media sector is held by three conglomerates. This tendency is not only totally unacceptable, but also to a degree frightening). Learn more hereWe endeavour to provide the community with real-time access to true unfiltered news firsthand from primary sources. It is a bumpy road with all sorties of difficulties. We can only achieve this goal together. Our website is open to any citizen journalists and organizations who want to contribute, publish high-quality insights or send media releases to improve public access to impartial information. You and we have the right to know, learn, read, hear what and how we deem appropriate.Your support is greatly appreciated. All donations are kept completely private and confidential.Thank you in advance!Tags:animation, Australia, Australian, blood cancer, clinical trials, federal government, Government, healthcare, immunology, immunotherapy, Investment, Mali, Melbourne, New Zealand, Professor, transplantationlast_img read more

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News / Final-mile postal tariffs set to rise, but by how much is still in the air

first_imgUS postage stamp, circa. 1959 © Chris Dorney Several outfits have sounded the alarm in recent days, warning parcel shippers that use postal services that their costs would increase dramatically. The UK’s Royal Mail said it would have to pay double the rate for final-mile deliveries in the US made by its American counterpart.Logistics provider Seko Logistics, which focuses on international e-commerce traffic, cautioned international shippers that the rates for final-mile delivery in the US could rise as much as 150%.The US Postal Service has yet to announce its compensation for final-mile delivery for postal agencies from countries that ship more than 75,000 tonnes of mail to the US in a year. Nor have postal agencies from other countries that meet the criterion, parcel carriers or online merchants.Horst Manner-Romberg, principal of parcel research and consulting firm M-R-U, reckons postal agencies are looking to the US to make the first move.He believes the new regime has presented postal service providers with a massive increase in complexity. The terminal dues system was unfair but relatively straightforward. An exit from this framework means postal agencies have to negotiate new arrangements with each other on a bilateral basis.This is introducing new complexities, said Mr Manner-Romberg. A postal service has to decide on its own rate structure for inbound mail, taking into consideration what others are charging in order to remain competitive.“What do you do if one postal service you’re competing with charges 15%, but another charges 25%?” he said.Moreover, postal providers have to embark on “an administrative marathon” of negotiations with each other, a process that is time-consuming and generates costs, which would be passed on to mail users, he pointed out, adding that he thinks it will take months for the full picture to emerge.Deyman Doolittle, COO and co-founder of ShipSights, which helps shippers reduce transport spend, is also certain charges will increase.“While it may go up 100%, the actual impact on the shipper may be lower,” he said. Many shippers have negotiated special rates and disbursement fees with their postal service partners, he pointed out.There will also be repercussions for some traffic carried by integrated carriers using the US Postal Service for final-mile deliveries. Both FedEx and UPS have a 2% margin on terminal dues, as long as they handle the paperwork for the shipper – which is usually the case, Mr Doolittle noted.“They stand to get increased margins,” he said.Some post offices have already struck agreements with each other, Mr Manner-Romberg noted. One of the first was Swiss Post, which negotiated with China Post a few years ago. This raised the compensation the Swiss operator receives from its Chinese counterpart to Sfr0.52 from Sfr0.32 per parcel.A major reason for the US offensive against the terminal dues regime was to level the playing field for US online merchants paying higher postal delivery charges in their home market than Chinese exporters using the mail service. However, experts doubt that the shift to the new regime will hamper Chinese sellers seriously.“I do not imagine that this will impact parcel flows,” Mr Doolittle said.Mr Manner-Romberg agreed. Many Chinese online merchants had already adapted their strategy, setting up distribution centres in Europe and North America, from where they use domestic delivery services for the final mile, he said.Seko is advising clients to consider this approach and scrutinise the option of holding inventory in the US to accelerate deliveries, as well as the viability of drop shipping parcels from Asia to the US, to avoid higher duty and taxes on B2B shipments to the US, said Brian Bourke, its chief growth officer. Parcel shippers are bracing for higher delivery costs on international shipments, but it is unclear by how much they may rise.Under a decision by the Universal Postal Union (IPI) in October, countries with imports in excess of 75,000 tonnes of mail from another nation are free, as of 1 July, to set their own charges for the final delivery of postal traffic from that country.This replaces a terminal dues regime that set fixed rates depending on the classification of country of origin. The US government led the charge against terminal dues, threatening to quit the organisation.Under the UPU agreement, qualifying post offices can now raise their rates as high as 70% of the price of domestic delivery, and up to 80% later. Countries that do not reach the 75,000-tonne threshold can start raising their charges in 2025.center_img By Ian Putzger 02/07/2020last_img read more

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