Metastatic breast cancer (mBC) patients, or those with the most advanced stage of breast cancer, in which the cancer has spread to other organs of the body, can now seek financial aid for innovative medical treatment via the EMBRACE programme by Pfizer Malaysia.
EMBRACE is a patient assistance programme to support HR+/HER2- mBC patients’ treatment continuity for improved outcome and better quality of life. This means Pfizer is providing treatment aid to mBC patients by subsidising half the cost of their Pfizer’s medicines i.e. Palbociclib.
The price of the treatment outside of the EMBRACE programme will range from RM13K – RM15K per month. Patients who are on EMBRACE programme can expect to only pay for 50% of the treatment. Through this programme, patients can better plan their finances and gain access to innovative medical treatments. Patients are encouraged to their oncologists to learn more about their treatment options and financial aid programs available.
In collaboration with the Breast Cancer Welfare Association Malaysia (BCWA), Pfizer Malaysia aims to elevate public understanding on mBC, dispel misconceptions, combat stigma, and expand the breast cancer conversation to be more inclusive of metastatic breast cancer.
BCWA conducted a survey to find out the mBC literacy level among Malaysians including knowledge, behaviours, and treatment-seeking approaches.
The survey, which ran on BWCA website, revealed that 80% from the 300 respondents believed that affordability is the main barrier preventing patients from seeking effective medical treatment. Seventy percent cited that poor awareness of treatment options as one of the major barriers that prevents mBC patients from seeking effective medical treatment.
Three out of five respondents also believed that mBC is caused by laste detection of breast cancer – a misconception that may lead to the stigmatization of mBC patients, while 62% believed that mBC was untreatable. While mBC can’t be cured, the treatment goal is to slow or stop cancer growth while maintaining a patient’s life quality.
BCWA president, Ranjit Kaur said many patients can live a long, fulfilling life and productive life with mBC.
“Improved access to information on mBC and professional guidance on the risks, benefits, and uncertainties of different treatment options can empower mBC patients in making personalised and informed decisions that will allow them to live life to the fullest,” she said.