News in brief: Rallying call for MSAC to fund Cilta-cel; BLOOD 2022: Call for abstracts; Rural training the answer to specialist shortage, says RACP

Thursday, 5 May 2022

Rallying call for MSAC to fund Cilta-cel

Myeloma Australia is calling for support as the Federal Government considers whether to fund the CAR-T cell therapy ciltacabtagene autoleucel (Cilta-cel) for relapsed refractory myeloma.

The My Future, My Life, My Say campaign is asking Australians to share their views with the MSAC by 10 June 2022.

The patient support group said Cilta-cel has been FDA approved in the US based on the phase 1b/2 CARTITUDE-1 clinical trial which found that the therapy led to “early, deep, and durable responses in heavily pretreated patients”.

Myeloma Australia and its Medical Scientific Advisory Group have already provided feedback to MSAC.

It is asking supporters to add their voice via the consultation survey which can be submitted by email or in a letter to the MSAC Secretariat.

BLOOD 2022: Call for abstracts

Abstracts submissions for the BLOOD 2002 conference have now opened.  The conference is taking place in Sydney on 11-14 September. 

The deadline for abstract submission is Wednesday 18 May. 

For more information on the program and abstract submissions click here. 

Rural training the answer to specialist shortage, says RACP

Additional specialist training places are needed in rural and remote areas to combat doctor shortages outside the major cities, the RACP is arguing.

With well over 100 doctors currently on the waitlist for its registrar program, the college says it is confident of filling any number of extra positions if funded by the Federal Government.

“There is no shortage of interest in these positions – the limiting factor is available government funding,” says RACP president-elect Dr Jacqueline Small.

“We also would like to see commitments of longer-term planning and funding to address regional healthcare shortages that go beyond election cycles.”

It comes after the Coalition announced it would inject an extra $145 million in new funding for rural health if re-elected later this month, mostly focused on additional training places in general practice.

“Any move that increases the capacity of our healthcare system in regional areas is a welcome one,” Dr Small said.

“Unfortunately, there remains a significant shortage of non-GP specialists in many rural and regional areas, and we encourage the Government to expand the program to allow for more positions for specialists to be trained.

The RACP administered around 380 positions annually under the Federal Government’s specialist training program, she added.

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