Ontario Expands Access to Cancer Drug
More treatment cycles now funded for colorectal cancer patients on Avastin
Ontario is expanding access to Avastin for colorectal cancer patients who are responding well to treatment.
The Ontario Public Drug Programs will now cover the cost of Avastin for patients who require the treatment beyond 16 cycles, if medical evidence from a physician indicates there has been no disease progression.
The new criteria, effective immediately, will allow funded treatment of Avastin up to 24 cycles. Treatment with Avastin beyond 24 cycles could still be available on advice from the patient's doctor or oncologist.
Ontario relies on a thorough assessment of scientific data and clinical evidence by its expert advisory committee of medical professionals, the Committee to Evaluate Drugs and the Cancer Care Ontario sub-committee, involving cancer experts, for recommendations on funding for all cancer drugs. Working in collaboration with the pharmaceutical company, Ontario has been able to expand access to Avastin for targeted patients at a reduced cost.
- Avastin (or bevacizumab) is an intravenous chemotherapeutic agent typically administered at hospitals.
- Avastin has been funded in Ontario since July 2008 as part of the first-line treatment regimen for metastatic colorectal cancer in combination with the chemotherapy regimen known as FOLFIRI.
“I'm very pleased that we can now make Avastin more available to colorectal cancer patients. We remain committed to providing more cost-effective medication for people in Ontario, and reinvesting our savings in new and better drugs for everyone.”