On February 11, the National Health Surveillance Agency (Anvisa) approved the registration of the biological drug Mvasi (bevacizumab) for cancer treatment. It also expanded the use of the drug Lynparza, used for the treatment of ovarian cancer, and the indication of the drug Lenvima, to treat kidney cancer. At the same time, two bills were introduced to Congress on the subject. One of them makes it obligatory for the pharmaceutical industry to maintain the supply of oncological drugs (PL 267/2019), while the other aims to ensure the availability of financial resources to support programs to fight cancer (PL 252/2019). Both bills are expected to be debated in the course of the new legislature.
According to Anvisa resolutions, patients with some types of cancer will now have more than one treatment option. Thus, Mvasi is the first biosimilar drug of the drug bevacizumab registered in Brazil. The product may be used for the treatment of lung cancer and metastatic or recurrent breast cancer, renal cell cancer and cervical cancer, among others. The drug Lynparza can now be used to treat adult patients with liver failure. Lenvima may also be used to treat advanced renal cell carcinoma.
At a legislative level, two bills were introduced to complement the fight against cancer in the Chamber of Deputies. Bill 267/2019, presented by opposition deputy Federico De Castro (Patriotas), establishes the obligation for the pharmaceutical industry to maintain the supply of oncological drugs in the market. In turn, deputy Maria do Rosário (Workers’ Party – opposition) introduced a bill to the Chamber to create the National Fund to Prevent and Combat Cancer. It ensures the availability of financial resources to support programs in the fight against cancer. The progress of these bills will depend on the composition of the congressional committees that will be defined in the coming weeks.