September 20th, 2019

// Addition of KISQALI® to drug plan in Quebec expands access to treatment for metastatic breast cancer

Addition of KISQALI® to drug plan in Quebec expands access to treatment for metastatic breast cancer

  • Provincial reimbursement provides public access to treatment that may delay the progression of advanced breast cancer 

DORVAL, QUEBEC, September 19, 2019 /CNW/ - Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. (Novartis) is pleased to announce that Quebec will now reimburse KISQALI® (ribociclib) for eligible patients in combination with an aromatase inhibitor (letrozole) under the province's public drug program for first-line treatment of postmenopausal women living with hormone receptor (HR)-positive, human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2)-negative advanced or metastatic breast cancer.

For women living with metastatic breast cancer, also known as Stage IV breast cancer, the cancer has spread beyond the breast to other areas of the body, such as the lungs, liver, bones or brain.2 It may happen before or after treatment, or it may develop from reoccurring breast cancer.3 Although there have been advancements in early detection and treatment, there is still no cure for metastatic breast cancer.While overall 5-year survival rates for female breast cancer are relatively high, at 87%, women with advanced breast cancer face a 22% survival rate over 5 years.5

"The public reimbursement of KISQALI® for metastatic breast cancer in Quebec represents a promising milestone for women living with metastatic breast cancer," said Dr. Nathaniel Bouganim, Medical Oncologist, McGill University Health Centre. "Now, patients will have access to more options to potentially help slow disease progression." 

"We are thrilled to see the province of Quebec grant access to therapeutic options that help improve the quality of life of women living with metastatic breast cancer," said Nathalie Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer, Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation. 

KISQALI® belongs to a family of medications called protein kinase inhibitors. These medications work by stopping cancer cells from dividing and growing. KISQALI® received Health Canada approval for use with letrozole on March 2, 2018, for the treatment of postmenopausal women with HR-positive, HER2-negative locally advanced or metastatic breast cancer as first-line endocrine-based therapy based on findings from the pivotal MONALEESA-2 trial. When given together with letrozole, KISQALI® may help slow down the growth and spread of breast cancer cells.6

"Novartis is committed to bringing innovative therapies that can improve the quality of life for those impacted by breast cancer," said Daniel Hébert, Country Medical Head Oncology, Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. "The reimbursement of KISQALI® is a testament to the ongoing need for public access to this treatment, and we continue to work collaboratively with the remaining provinces and territories to ensure patients from across Canada with metastatic breast cancer and their healthcare providers have public access to KISQALI®."

About KISQALI® (ribociclib)
KISQALI® is a selective cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor, a class of drugs that help slow the progression of cancer by inhibiting two proteins called cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (CDK4/6). These proteins, when over-activated, can enable cancer cells to grow and divide too quickly. Targeting CDK4/6 may play a role in ensuring that cancer cells do not continue to replicate uncontrollably. KISQALI® was developed by the Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research (NIBR) under a research collaboration with Astex Pharmaceuticals.  

About Novartis in Advanced Breast Cancer
Novartis tackles breast cancer with advanced science, collaboration and a passion for transforming patient care. We've taken a bold approach to our research by including patient populations often neglected in clinical trials, identifying new pathways or mutations that may play a role in disease progression and developing therapies that not only maintain, but also improve, quality of life for patients. Our priority over the past 30 years and today is to deliver treatments proven to improve and extend lives for those diagnosed with advanced breast cancer.

About Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc. 
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    

KISQALI is a registered trademark. 


1 KISQALI®, Product Monograph, November 26, 2018. Available at: Accessed on July 15, 2019.
2 Canadian Cancer Society. What is Metastatic Cancer? Available at: Accessed on July 15, 2019.
3 Canadian Breast Cancer Network. What is Metastatic Breast Cancer? Available at: Accessed on July 15, 2019.
4 Canadian Breast Cancer Network and Rethink Breast Cancer. Living with Metastatic Breast Cancer in Canada. Available at: Accessed on July 15, 2019.
5 Canadian Cancer Society. Canadian Cancer Statistics, a 2018 special report on cancer incidence by stage. Available at: Accessed on July 15, 2019. 
6 KISQALI®, Patient Medication Information, November 26, 2018. Available at Accessed on July 15, 2019

SOURCE Novartis Pharmaceuticals Canada Inc.


Sign Up and get a free 7 day Train it Right HIIT Program!