Life Saving Drugs Program - Information for patients, prescribers and pharmacists

The Life Saving Drugs Program provides fully subsidised access for eligible patients to expensive and life saving drugs for life threatening and rare diseases.

Page last updated: 19 November 2018

Instructions for PDF forms

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Medicines currently funded through the LSDP

There are currently fourteen medicines available to eligible patients for the treatment of nine conditions:
  1. Imiglucerase (Cerezyme®), Velaglucerase (VPRIV®), Taliglucerase (Elelyso®) and Miglustat (Zavesca®) for the treatment of Gaucher disease (Type 1)
  2. Agalsidase alfa (Replagal®), Agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme®) and Migalastat (Galafold®) for the treatment of Fabry disease
  3. Laronidase (Aldurazyme®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I (MPS I)
  4. Idursulfase (Elaprase®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (MPS II)
  5. Elosulfase alfa (Vimizim®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IVA (MPSIVA)
  6. Galsulfase (Naglazyme®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI (MPS VI)
  7. Alglucosidase alfa (Myozyme®) for the treatment of Infantile-onset, Juvenile Late-onset or Adult Late-onset Pompe disease
  8. Eculizumab (Soliris®) for the treatment of Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH)
  9. Nitisinone (Orfadin®) for the treatment of Hereditary Tyrosinaemia Type I (HTI)

Patient Eligibility

Following an Australian Government decision to fund a drug, a patient must meet the following conditions to receive subsidised drugs on the LSDP:
  1. Satisfy the relevant criteria for treatment with the drug, as detailed within the relevant LSDP Guidelines.
  2. Participate in the evaluation of effectiveness of the drug by periodic assessment, as directed by the Guidelines, or have a reason not to participate.
  3. Not be suffering from any other medical condition, including complications or sequelae of the primary condition that might compromise the effectiveness of the drug condition.
  4. Be a permanent Australian resident who qualifies for Medicare.

Patient Application Process

For patients to access medicines funded under the LSDP, their treating physicians must first apply for access on behalf of their patients. Once approved, LSDP staff arrange for the medicines to be delivered to a pharmacy (usually a hospital) for dispensation to approved patients.

Annual review

Patient eligibility will be reviewed in accordance with the frequency set out in the relevant LSDP Guidelines, but generally 12 months after commencing therapy and every 12 months thereafter. If deemed appropriate by the Expert Panel, clinicians may be required to submit data more frequently on behalf of their patients.

Information for patients

A frequently asked question document has been in consultation with the patient advocacy group Rare Voices Australia to answer questions regularly asked by patients and consumers. For information on a particular condition, please consult with your treating physician.
Frequently Asked Questions – Patients and Consumers (PDF 228 KB)
Frequently Asked Questions – Patients and Consumers (Word 270 KB)

Information for dispensing pharmacists

For information regarding the management and dispensing of these expensive life saving drugs, please view the Drug Fact Sheet below.
Drug Supply Fact Sheet (PDF 52 KB)
Drug Supply Fact Sheet (Word 511 KB)

Information for prescribers

Please see the following responses to the most frequently asked questions from prescribers.
Frequently Asked Questions – Prescribers (PDF 168 KB)
Frequently Asked Questions – Prescribers (Word 410 KB)

For any other concerns/queries, please contact the LSDP on 02 6289 2336 or email lsdp@health.gov.au.

LSDP Guidelines

Application/reapplication forms and guidelines

There are currently fourteen medicines available to eligible patients for the treatment of nine conditions.

Application forms for each medicine are attached below, including:
  • the guidelines for the individual medicines on the program,
  • the initial application form that must be completed for patients to be approved to the program and
  • the annual reapplication form for patients to receive continued subsidised medicines.
Please note that these documents can only be accessed through an Internet Explorer browser.

1. Imiglucerase (Cerezyme®), Velaglucerase (VPRIV®), Taliglucerase (Elelyso®) and Miglustat (Zavesca®) for the treatment of Gaucher disease (Type 1)

2. Agalsidase alfa (Replagal®), Agalsidase beta (Fabrazyme®) and Migalastat (Galafold®) for the treatment of Fabry Disease

3. Laronidase (Aldurazyme®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type I (MPS I)

4. Idursulfase (Elaprase®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type II (MPS II)

5. Elosulfase alfa (Vimizim®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IVA (MPSIVA)

6. Galsulfase (Naglazyme®) for the treatment of Mucopolysaccharidosis Type VI (MPS VI)

7. Alglucosidase alfa (Myozyme®) for the treatment of Infantile-onset, Juvenile Late-onset or Adult Late-onset Pompe Disease

8. Eculizumab (Soliris®) for the treatment of Paroxysmal Nocturnal Haemoglobinuria (PNH)

9. Nitisinone (Orfadin®) for the treatment of Hereditary Tyrosinaemia Type I