Quebec and New Brunswick Become First Provinces to Provide Public Funding of IBRANCE™ for the First-Line Treatment of Metastatic Breast Cancer

Since IBRANCE received Health Canada marketing authorization in March 2016, Canadian women living with metastatic breast cancer have waited close to two years for public access

Women in the rest of Canada continue to face lengthy and inequitable wait times

KIRKLAND, QCFeb. 15, 2018 /CNW/ – Pfizer Canada announces that Quebec and New Brunswick have become the first provinces in Canada to provide public funding of IBRANCE (palbociclib) in combination with a non-steroidal aromatase inhibitor for the first-line treatment of postmenopausal women living with estrogen receptor (ER)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer (mBC).

IBRANCE was added to Quebec’s drug benefit formulary effective February 1, 2018 and New Brunswick’s drug plan formulary effective February 12, 2018.

IBRANCE is a protein kinase inhibitor, first granted conditional approval by Health Canada on March 16, 2016, in combination with letrozole, for the treatment of postmenopausal women with ER-positive, HER2-negative advanced breast cancer as initial endocrine-based therapy for their metastatic disease. Conditions were fulfilled and full approval was granted in November 2017.

Today’s announcement is consistent with the pan-Canadian Oncology Drug Review (pCODR)’s recommendation for public listing issued on November 21, 2016 and acknowledgement of IBRANCE’s therapeutic value from the Institut national d’excellence en santé et en services sociaux (INESSS)’s scientific committee in Quebec issued on March 15, 2017.

“The provinces of Quebec and New Brunswick have taken an important step towards committing to metastatic breast cancer patients by granting access to this treatment, but there is still much work to do,” says Cathy Ammendolea, Chair of the Board of Directors, Canadian Breast Cancer Network. “It is critical that women across Canada living with metastatic disease have access to this treatment.”

“Women living with metastatic breast cancer face significant unmet needs and simply don’t have the luxury of time to wait for access to new medicines,” says Nathalie Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer, Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation.

“After receiving approval from Health Canada nearly two years ago, Pfizer Canada has been working diligently to ensure public access to this innovative medicine,” says John Leasure, Pfizer Oncology Canada Lead. “During that period, Pfizer has provided assistance to thousands of metastatic breast cancer patients in need through its Patient Support Program. We look forward to working with the remaining provinces to expedite public access to this important treatment option.”

mBC: Importance of access to treatments
Metastatic breast cancer is the most advanced stage of breast cancer. It occurs when cancer spreads to other parts of the body such as the lungs, liver, brain or bones.i Despite improvements made with early detection and treatment, there is currently no cure for metastatic breast cancer and only 22 per cent of patients will survive five years beyond diagnosis.ii,iii

“While there is no cure, a large part of the conversation among metastatic breast cancer patients and caregivers in Canada is about the treatment options available to them,” says Dr. Nathaniel Bouganim, Medical Oncologist, McGill University Health Center. “The public listing of IBRANCE in Quebec and New Brunswick is an important milestone for patients.”

About Pfizer Canada Inc.
Pfizer Canada Inc. is the Canadian operation of Pfizer Inc., one of the world’s leading biopharmaceutical companies. Our diversified health care portfolio includes some of the world’s best-known and most prescribed medicines and vaccines. Historically, Pfizer Inc. has invested more than US $7 billion toward developing safe and effective medicines. At Pfizer, we’re working together for a healthier world. To learn more about Pfizer Canada, visit or you can follow us on Twitter ( or Facebook (


Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. Metastatic Breast Cancer. Available at: Accessed February 2018.


Canadian Breast Cancer Network. Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer. Available at: Accessed February 2018


Canadian Cancer Society. Survival Statistics for Breast Cancer. Available at:  Accessed  February 2018.


SOURCE Pfizer Canada Inc.