Life-prolonging ovarian cancer drug approved in Canada

Judy Fielden, 73, has just finished chemotheraphy for her second bout of ovarian cancer. (Lisa Schick/980 CJME)

The ovarian cancer drug, olaparib, or Lynparza as it is known by the brand name, has been approved for use in Canada.

pCODR, the national drug review panel, approved a second submission at the end of August.

The drug is for patients battling a second round of the disease and is one of the only effective treatment options for BRCA-mutated ovarian cancer.

“This is a huge step having this drug available for ovarian cancer patients in Canada,” said Judy Fielden, a patient who has fought for access to the drug. “I think it will add to people’s lives certainly and their quality of life.”

Lynparza is expensive, costing up to $9000 a month. The price provinces will pay is still being negotiated.

Fielden is hope for the future given everything she has been through. She has just finished her chemotherapy for her second bout with the disease.

Ovarian cancer is a frightening disease because statistics show within five years of being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, one in two women will have died, 85 per cent of them will see a recurrence.

September is Ovarian Cancer Month and Sunday sees the Ovarian Cancer Canada Walk of Hope, a national event that raises thousands for treatment and research for the disease.

“I am absolutely thrilled this is approved, it is time, and I am pleased, it’s hope,” Fielden added.

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