$75 million for new medicine subsidies

The Australian Government has announced a further $75 million commitment to list three new drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Page last updated: 01 April 2015

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1 April 2015

The Abbott Government today announced a further $75 million commitment to list three new drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Minister for Health Sussan Ley said the announcement of Lemtrada® on the PBS would benefit more than 1,000 patients per year with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS).

Relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis accounts for 80 per cent of all Australians diagnosed with MS.

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

“Patients suffering with relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis today have easier access to the new and important medicine Lemtrada® because of its listing on the PBS.”

Today it was also announced the listing of Afinitor® will be extended to include patients with pancreatic cancer and Lucrin®, a medicine for the treatment of central precocious puberty (CPP), would be listed for the first time on the PBS.

Ms Ley said approximately 580 patients with pancreatic cancer and 520 CPP patients per year would benefit from the listing of these medicines.

“Pancreatic cancer is highly aggressive with very few treatment options and until now there have been no drugs listed on the PBS for the specific treatment of central precocious puberty,” Ms Ley said.

“We know that cancer touches so many Australians and that children with CPP, a condition that is characterised by early pubertal changes, have a greater risk of suffering from personal and social issues making these listings very worthwhile.”

From 1 April 2015, the following listings will be added to the PBS:

    • Alemtuzumab (Lemtrada®) for the treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS);
    • Everolimus (Afinitor®) for the treatment of metastatic or unresectable, well-differentiated malignant pancreatic neuroendocrine tumour (pNET); and
    • Leuprorelin (Lucrin®) for the treatment of central precocious puberty (CPP).
The $75 million commitment over four years to subsidise these medicines on the PBS are subject to final arrangements being met by the suppliers of the medicine.

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

ENDS

Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy – 0478 333 974

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