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JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government continues work to strengthen the country’s cancer care system through strategic partnerships with international entities.
  • On August 26 of this year, the Government signed a contract with global leader in diagnostic and pharmaceutical products, Roche, to market Herceptin Subcutaneous (SC).
  • Herceptin Subcutaneous (SC) is an agent commonly used in the treatment of early stage Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (HER) 2 Positive breast cancer.

The Government continues work to strengthen the country’s cancer care system through strategic partnerships with international entities.

On August 26 of this year, the Government signed a contract with global leader in diagnostic and pharmaceutical products, Roche, to market Herceptin Subcutaneous (SC), an agent commonly used in the treatment of early stage Human Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor (HER) 2 Positive breast cancer.

The product was launched yesterday (September 16), at the Terra Nova All-Suite Hotel in Kingston, to be distributed by Roche Pharma (Jamaica and Cayman).

In his address, Health Minister, Hon. Dr. Fenton Ferguson, said that Herceptin SC will be a valuable addition to the country’s cancer treatment system.

“This is an achievement that is set to revolutionize the landscape for the treatment of HER 2 Positive breast cancer,” he said.

Citing breast cancer as the fifth leading cause of death in Jamaican women, Dr. Ferguson said that a crucial area for reducing deaths from this disease is early detection.

“Early detection, in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival, remains the fundamental cornerstone in managing the disease. As we continue to push for early detection in order to improve breast cancer outcome and survival, we recognize that strong and fruitful partnerships like this one will help us achieve this goal,” he noted.

Herceptin is a cellular antibody that inhibits the protein that fuels tumor growth and should be used in conjunction with surgery and chemotherapy treatment.

In an interview with JIS News, Country Manager for Roche Pharma, Jamaica and Cayman, Stewart Dougan, said that the medication is now available to the public at several institutions islandwide.

The product is being distributed locally by Facey Commodity Company Limited and Cari-Med Limited.

Mr. Dougan warned that the product should only be administered by a licensed health care professional.

“You can go to any of the three approved hospitals (Kingston Public, Cornwall Regional and Mandeville). For the private system, persons can go to any Oncologist to have them manage the treatment. It is a highly specialised product that is intended for use by these medical doctors,” he emphasised.

Roche is a global leader in cancer treatment and research for over 50 years, producing medications that assist in the treatment of breast, skin, colon, ovarian, lung and numerous other cancers. It is a Swiss company operating in over 150 countries.