Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme – extension to listings of Ezetrol® (ezetimibe) and Vytorin® (ezetimibe and simvastatin)

More people with high blood cholesterol levels will be able to buy these anti-cholesterol drugs through the PBS, to reduce their risk of developing cardiovascular disease.

Page last updated: 08 May 2007

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Why is this important?

  • Cardiovascular disease is a major health problem and the leading cause of death in Australia. In 2003 it affected around 18 per cent of the population and caused more than 38 per cent of all deaths. High blood cholesterol levels increase the risk of cardiovascular disease.
  • Extensions of the listings of Ezetrol® (ezetimibe) and Vytorin® (ezetimibe and simvastatin) will become available from 1 August 2007 for the treatment of high cholesterol for a broader group of patients.
  • These extensions to listings are in line with the broader eligibility criteria recommended by the Review of the PBS Subsidisation of Lipid Lowering drugs. The extensions aim to ensure that all patients who have access to statins also have access to second line therapy.

Who will benefit?

  • It is expected that an estimated 42,000 additional people will commence Ezetrol® and Vytorin® for the treatment of high cholesterol in the first full financial year of listing.

What funding is the Government committing to this initiative?

  • The cost to Government for Ezetrol® is approximately $413 for the average patient per year and the cost to Government for Vytorin® is approximately $882 for the average patient per year. These extensions will cost $78.3 million over four years.

What have we done in the past?

  • Ezetrol® and Vytorin® are currently PBS listed for the treatment of high cholesterol in patients.
  • PBS expenditure for the current listings of Ezetrol® and Vytorin® for 2005-06 was approximately $35.5 million.

When will the initiative conclude?

  • These are ongoing initiatives.

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