Other supply arrangements outside the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)

Page last updated: 09 July 2018

Life Saving Drugs Program (LSDP)

The Australian Government provides fully subsidised access for eligible patients to expensive and life saving medicines for very rare and life-threatening medical conditions through the LSDP.

To apply on behalf of a patient, the treating physician must complete the initial application form, provide copies of all test results as evidence, and submit a clinic letter and email the completed Excel spreadsheet.

For ongoing treatment, the treating physician must submit the separate reapplication form along with copies of all test results as evidence of ongoing eligibility and the completed Excel spreadsheet to the LSDP by 1 May every year to continue to receive subsidised treatment through the LSDP.

LSDP Funding Criteria and Conditions

Before being considered for inclusion, a drug must first be considered by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and rejected on the basis of cost effectiveness. The Chief Medical Officer (CMO) advises the Minister for Health on drugs proposed to be included on the LSDP.

There are currently thirteen medicines available on the LSDP to eligible patients for the treatment of nine conditions. Subsidised access through the LSDP is granted in accordance with specified eligibility criteria and subject to certain conditions. Please visit Life Saving Drugs Program Criteria and Conditions for more information on the criteria, how to apply and the medicines currently funded.

Review of the LSDP

On 28 January 2018 the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, announced the outcomes of the Review of the LSDP and provided the Government response.

These documents are available at Review of the Life Saving Drugs Program (LSDP).

Agreement with Industry

The Government and Medicines Australia (MA), on behalf of sponsors of medicines on the LSDP, have entered into an agreement to implement reforms to the program following the January 2018 Government response to the Review of the LSDP. This Compact was agreed on 8 May 2018.

The agreement with MA will provide policy stability, transparency and certainty for industry and the rare diseases medicines sector. The agreement enables savings to Government through price reductions for medicines funded through the LSDP, and supports the introduction of broader policies similar to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines.

The Government will continue to consult with key stakeholders in implementing the improvements as outlined in the agreement.

LSDP Agreement between the Government and Medicines Australia (PDF 378KB)
LSDP Agreement between the Government and Medicines Australia (Word 27KB)

Procedure guidance for medicines funded through the LSDP

This guidance document delivers on the commitments made in the above agreement between the Government and Medicines Australia to develop a clearly defined and transparent process and associated timelines for consideration of medicines seeking funding through the LSDP. This guidance further delivers on the commitment to assist sponsors in preparing an application to make a rare disease medicine available on the LSDP; ensuring access to treatment for people with rare diseases is not unnecessarily delayed.

LSDP guidance document (Version 1.0) (PDF 1077 KB)
LSDP guidance document (Version 1.0) (Word 258 KB)

Further Information

Life Saving Drugs Program
Phone: (02) 6289 2336
Fax: (02) 6289 8537
Email: LSDP team