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Call for lifesaving drug to be PBS listed


Trent Gibbon is undergoing his third year of treatment for aggressive Hodgkin Lymphoma. Now, his father, Wayne Gibbons, is on a mission to do everything he can to get his son a possible life saving treatment – but it comes with a hefty price tag.

There’s a new treatment called Keytruda which has been recommended for Trent but for Mr Gibbons, a single dad, it’s just out of reach, costing more than a hundred thousand dollars.

Keytruda has been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and has been recommended by Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee – but the subsidy is still to come.

Consultant haematologist Dr Chan Cheah said they’d like to see the drug listed and reimbursed for HL patients as soon as possible.

Dr Cheah said the infusions helped the immune system recognise cancer cells and fight them off.

“It’s much easier to use than chemotherapy, it’s an infusion once every few weeks, the side effect profile is very manageable people don’t lose their hair,” he explained.

While 85 per cent of Hodgkin Lymphoma sufferers are cured with chemotherapy, Dr Cheah said for a small percentage of patients who relapse, Keytruda would be ideal.

“We want the best things and outcomes for our patients and so the ideal treatment for us would be something accessible for everyone that’s highly effective and has minimal side effects,” he said.

Read more about Trent’s story here:  https://thewest.com.au/news/perth/perth-dads-desperate-bid-to-fund-100k-life-saving-drug-for-son-ng-b88794504z

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