Diabetes, Glaucoma, Cancer and Growth Hormone Patients Benefit From PBS Changes

New medicines for glaucoma, diabetes and advanced soft tissue sarcoma have been approved for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Page last updated: 27 February 2014

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27 February 2014

New medicines for glaucoma, diabetes and advanced soft tissue sarcoma have been approved for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Announcing the approvals today, Minister for Health Peter Dutton said the PBS subsidies would make the medicines more affordable for Australians who needed them.

For patients with diabetes, two combination medicines have been listed. These are linagliptin with metformin (sold as Trajenta Duo®), and saxagliptin with metformin (sold as Kombiglyze®).

“Patients already had access to the individual medicines through the PBS, but many people need to use two medicines together to treat their diabetes,” Mr Dutton said.

“With the combination dose now listed on the PBS, these patients will save up to $36.90 every time they get a script filled because they will only have to buy one fixed dose medicine instead of two.”

Pazopanib (sold as Votrient®) has also been approved for PBS listing for the treatment of advanced soft tissue sarcoma.

“Patients with this rare cancer would pay around $21,000 per treatment cycle for pazopanib without subsidised access through the PBS,” Mr Dutton said.

“The Government believes that Australians should have access to new medicines through the PBS as soon as possible after they are proven.”

Mr Dutton also announced changes to the PBS Growth Hormone Programme, which currently treats almost 1,900 Australian children and adolescents.

The programme is being extended to cover certain patients with hypothalamic-pituitary disease who have biochemical growth hormone deficiency. Higher doses of growth hormone will now be more accessible through the programme, for those patients where it is deemed clinically appropriate.

“Access to higher doses of growth hormone will especially help older children who have limited opportunity for further treatment before their skeleton has matured,” Mr Dutton said.

The changes were developed in consultation with the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group, representing medical specialists who treat children with relevant growth and endocrine system disorders.

“This is a good example of how the Government and clinicians are working together to both provide better support to patients and promote quality use of medicine.”

The changes will take effect on 1 March 2014 and be published in the Guidelines for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme Growth Hormone Programme. The Guidelines are available through the Department of Health website.

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

Media Contact: Minister’s office – 02 6277 7220

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