First reimbursed targeted combination adjuvant treatment aims to prevent cancer recurrence for patients who have undergone surgery
Dorval, Quebec, December 16, 2019 – Novartis is pleased to announce that British Columbia will now fund the combination of Tafinlar®+Mekinist® (dabrafenib + trametinib) for adjuvant treatment of stage III-IV BRAF-mutated, fully resected melanoma under its provincial drug program for eligible melanoma patients to prevent recurrence of melanoma following surgery.2 The combination use of the two cancer therapies will be reimbursed for melanoma patients with the BRAF V600 mutation who meet specific criteria.
“We have come a long way with melanoma and the treatment evolution is ongoing. Reimbursement of this combination therapy for the adjuvant treatment of melanoma is really good news for this community in British Columbia. Our wish is that all patients have access to the treatment option they need to manage or prevent recurrence of this disease,” said Kathy Barnard, Founder and President of the Save Your Skin Foundation.
This year, an estimated 7,800 Canadians will receive a melanoma diagnosis.3 Changes or mutations in the BRAF gene, specifically a BRAF V600E or BRAF V600K mutation, are found in about half of all melanomas. Targeted therapies act directly on specific molecules in cancer cells. BRAF inhibitors target the BRAF protein to help shrink and control the growth of melanoma.4
“British Columbia now joins Quebec in its decision to make this combination therapy available to eligible patients and we look to other provinces to follow this lead. Novartis remains firmly committed to bringing new treatment options to patients with the hope of transforming the way they live with cancer,” said Christian Macher, Country President & General Manager, Oncology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.
Combination use of Tafinlar® plus Mekinist® is approved by Health Canada for adjuvant treatment of patients with melanoma with a BRAF V600 mutation and involvement of lymph node(s), following complete resection and also for the treatment of patients with unresectable or metastatic BRAF V600 mutated melanoma.1
Tafinlar® (dabrafenib) + Mekinist® (trametinib) Important Safety Information The full product monograph for Tafinlar® and Mekinist® can be found at: www.novartis.ca.
About Novartis in Canada Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc., a leader in the healthcare field, is committed to the discovery, development and marketing of innovative products to improve the well-being of all Canadians. In 2018, the company invested $52 million in research and development in Canada. Located in Dorval, Quebec, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. employs approximately 1,000 people in Canada and is an affiliate of Novartis AG, which provides innovative healthcare solutions that address the evolving needs of patients and societies. For further information, please consult www.novartis.ca.
About Novartis Novartis is reimagining medicine to improve and extend people’s lives. As a leading global medicines company, we use innovative science and digital technologies to create transformative treatments in areas of great medical need. In our quest to find new medicines, we consistently rank among the world’s top companies investing in research and development. Novartis products reach more than 750 million people globally and we are finding innovative ways to expand access to our latest treatments. About 109,000 people of more than 140 nationalities work at Novartis around the world. Find out more at https://www.novartis.com/.