Sunday, November 14, 2010

Tykerb - A Late Stage Cancer Drug

Tykerb is a late stage breast cancer drug prescribed for HER2-positive metastatic breast cancer patients who have exhausted all other treatment options.

The big problem is that it’s not covered under our Alberta Health Care Insurance Program, leaving the patient to bear the huge monthly cost. In an Edmonton Journal article, Kelly Mah with mets writes… “Both my husband and I have good jobs, but a cost of $3,500-$4,000 a month for the rest of my hopefully long life would be financially crippling. I became so stressed and depressed that I even contemplated forgoing the drug and letting nature take its course.”

About Tykerb from a Cross Cancer Centre Institute medical oncologist and U of A assistant professor Dr. Katia Tonkin says in the Edmonton Sun about Tykerb..."It really is a tremendous new class of drugs in breast cancer for what can be a very difficult group of patients to treat. I think it's very important to have it available," she said, adding it's "appalling" that anyone wanting to take the drug would have to spend tens of thousands of dollars a year.

Taking up the fight is fellow bc blogger Brenda from Brenda’s Breast Cancer Journey .. she has petitioned our politicians demanding that Tykerb be covered under our Alberta Health Care Insurance Program. Way to go girl !!

I hope that sharing this info about Tykerb will give us mets folks access to all treatment options. Treatment options are what keep us alive and kicking. So the next time you hear about the new drug Tykerb, you’ll know something about it.


Julie Goodale said...

I actually took part in an ongoing Tykerb study to see if it can be useful in earlier stage cancers. I figured, even if it doesn't help me, the study might help someone else in the future.

From what I read, it seems like a really useful drug in the right situation. It's appalling to me that it wouldn't be covered. What's the justification?

Daria said...

Julie, this is in Alberta, Canada.

Elayne said...

Hi Daria~ I have been on Tykerb for a while now and it does seem to be working. I am fortunate that my insurance does cover the expense. Hope that will be the case for those of you in Canada soon!