New Cancer Medicines Available Through the PBS

New medicines have been approved for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) by the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton.

Page last updated: 02 December 2013

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2 December 2013

New medicines have been approved for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) by the Minister for Health, Peter Dutton.

The new listings will include a medicine for the treatment of a type of lung cancer.

“The Government will reduce the cost of gefitinib (sold as IressaŽ) for more than 1,400 Australians with non-small cell lung cancer,” Mr Dutton said.

“Patients would pay around $15,000 for gefitinib each year without subsidised access through the PBS.

“The Government has also approved the listing of a new item on the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) for the genetic test that is necessary to determine eligibility for gefitinib.

“This means that patients will now be able to access both the genetic test and, if they are eligible, the medicine they may otherwise not been able to afford.”

Mr Dutton also announced that a new brand of cyclophosphamide, which is prescribed for the treatment of a range of cancers, and a new brand of benztropine, which is prescribed for the emergency treatment of uncontrollable body movements, will be listed on the PBS.

The new brand of cyclophosphamide (sold as EndoxanŽ) will ensure patients can continue to have access to the tablet form of this important medicine. Without it, patients would have needed to make arrangements to get the medicine via intravenous infusion.

A new brand of benztropine (sold as Benztropine OmegaŽ) will also be listed to address a supply shortage.

“When we learned that these companies were experiencing a supply shortage of their medicines, we were able to negotiate rapid supply through other companies to ensure patients did not miss out on their medicine,” Mr Dutton said.

“This is a good example of how the Government and the pharmaceutical industry are working together to better support patients.

“The Australian Government is committed to ensuring new and improved medicines are made available to patients sooner and at an affordable price,” he said.

All PBS listings are subject to final arrangements being met by the suppliers of the medicine.

The listings will be published in the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits, which is updated monthly and accessible through the PBS website.

For more information, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220

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