New breast cancer drug covered by the province 

Islanders with breast cancer now have help to pay for  Ibrance, a life sustaining drug which has been added to the provincial drug formulary effective immediately. 

Ibrance is a treatment option for people with metastatic breast cancer and is now available for eligible patients to help treat their illness and lessen their financial stress. It is anticipated that approximately five Islanders will benefit yearly from this new drug, which costs $5,300 for each 28 day course of therapy.

“A cancer diagnosis can be overwhelming and leave a person feeling like their world has been turned upside down. We need to ensure we have the best available supports in place for these patients and their families and cost should not be a barrier to quality health care. We are working to ensure we have access to modern and effective medications, treatment options and screening processes. I am very pleased we are able to make this announcement during breast cancer awareness month which falls in October.” 

- Health and Wellness Minister James Aylward

Every year about 10,500 Islanders get screened for breast cancer. 

"Breast cancer is the most common form of cancer diagnosis for women on PEI," said Linda MacMillan, provincial breast screening coordinator. "Getting screened regularly is important as over 80 per cent of breast cancer cases are diagnosed at an early stage and early detection improves survival rates.”

Islanders can schedule a mammography appointment without a referral through their physician or nurse practitioner office, or by calling 1-888-592-9888.

The PEI Breast Screening Program operates at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and Prince County Hospital. Women who participate in breast screening should be aware of the risks and benefits of screening and have the discussion with their primary care provider. Once you are part of the screening program, you will receive a reminder letter stating when it is time to call again and schedule your next appointment.

PEI’s Breast Screening program provides screening for women 40-74 years of age. Yearly follow up is provided for patients with a breast density of greater than 75 per cent as well as to those with high risk factors for breast cancer. Breast density information is provided directly to primary care providers, and Health PEI is currently establishing a process to provide this information to all patients.

Media contact:
Samantha Hughes
Department of Health and Wellness

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