Making more life-changing medicines available to all Australians

The Australian Government is listing almost half a billion dollars’ worth of new medicines, providing sufferers of both common and rare diseases access to life-changing drugs for as little as $6.30 per script.

Page last updated: 30 August 2017

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30 August 2017

The Turnbull Government is listing almost half a billion dollars’ worth of new medicines, providing sufferers of both common and rare diseases access to life-changing drugs for as little as $6.30 per script.

Without subsidy from the Turnbull Government, these medicines cost patients as much as $115,000 per year.

From 1 September, patients will only pay a maximum of $38.80 per script, or just $6.30 if they are a concessional patient.

Stelara® will be available for severe adult Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease which causes crippling pain and in many cases is a lifelong issue.

Australia has one of the highest rates of inflammatory bowel disease in the world with more than 80,000 people living with Crohn’s disease.

This listing will help around 2,600 Australians each year who are living with the most severe type of Crohn’s disease, giving them treatment to help them live a normal life.

Like all new medicines being added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme on Friday, Stelara® will now be available to patients at $38.80 per script or $6.30 for concession card holders.

Stelara® would otherwise cost patients over $68,600 per year.

Zydelig® will also be made available to treat eligible patients with certain types of leukaemia, including relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or small lymphocytic leukaemia. It will also support patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma.

Without subsidy, Zydelig® would cost $60,500 a year for follicular lymphoma patients and $115,800 a year for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or small lymphocytic leukaemia patients.

This medicine will provide vital treatment for patients who would otherwise have exhausted all other options.

The Government is also subsidising Somavert® for patients suffering from Acromegaly, a rare condition characterised by a consistently high level of circulating growth hormone.

It can result in the enlargement of the jaw and extremities, and, over a prolonged period, may lead to patients suffering multiple health problems.

Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by adding around $7.5 billion worth of medicines to the PBS.

Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Labor delayed the listing of seven vital drugs – which left important medicines out of reach for many Australian patients.

The Turnbull Government has a rock solid commitment to Medicare and part of this commitment is ensuring people have access to medicine when they need it. We are continuing to deliver on this commitment.

PBS listings are published on the Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits, which is available through the PBS website.

(ENDS)

Medicine
Indication, condition and treatment
Impact on patients / Budget
Cost over four years
USTEKINUMAB
YOO-sti-KIN-ue-mab
(Stelara®)

Janssen-Cilag Pty Ltd
Indication:
For the treatment of Crohn’s disease.

Therapeutic effect:
Reduces inflammation and redness.
Patients would pay around $68,651 annually for treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.

An average of 2,583 patients per year could benefit from this listing.
$378.5 million
Idelalisib
Eye-del-a –LIS-ib
(Zydelig®)

Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd
Indication:
For the treatment of follicular lymphoma.

Therapeutic effect:
Induces cell death/destruction (apoptosis) and inhibits proliferation in malignant B-cells and in primary tumour cells.
Patients would pay around $60,500 annually for this treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.

An average of 99 patients per year could benefit from this listing.
$22.4 million
Idelalisib
Eye-del-a –LIS-ib
(Zydelig®)

Gilead Sciences Pty Ltd
Indication:
For the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukaemia and small lymphocytic lymphoma

Therapeutic effect:
Induces cell death/destruction (apoptosis) and inhibits proliferation in malignant B-cells and in primary tumour cells.
Patients would pay around $115,800 per course of treatment for this treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.

An average of 144 patients per year could benefit from this listing.
$30.5 million
Pegvisomant
Peg-vis’oh-mant
(Somervert®)

Pfizer Australia Pty Ltd
Indication:
For the treatment of acromegaly.

Therapeutic effect:
Decreases serum concentrations of insulin-like growth factor 1 (IGF-1) and other Growth Hormone -responsive serum proteins.
Patients would pay around $16,956 per course of treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.

An average of 402 patients per year could benefit from this listing.
$15.9 million
Omalizumab
0h-mah-liz’uw-mab
(Xolair®)

Novartis Pharmaceuticals Australia Pty Ltd
Indication:
For the treatment of patients with severe chronic spontaneous urticaria.

Therapeutic effect:
Blocks a substance called immunoglobulin E which is produced by the body. As a consequence the activity of specific receptors and/or cells in the body which play a key role in causing chronic spontaneous urticaria are reduced. This leads to a reduction in symptoms, like itching and hives.
Patients would pay around $5,707 per course of treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.

An average of
2,013 patients per year could benefit from this listing.
$23.9 million
Ursodeoxycholic Acid
ur'so-de-oks'e-kol'ik as'id
(Ursofalk®)

Orphan Australia Pty Ltd
Indication:
For the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis.

Therapeutic effect:
Alters bile acid composition, resulting in increases in the concentration of
Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)
and decreases in the concentrations of the more hydrophobic and potentially toxic bile acids, cholic and chenodeoxycholic acids. UDCA also has a choleretic effect, resulting in increased bile acid output and bile flow. There is some evidence for immunological effects, including a reduction of abnormal expression of human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I antigens on hepatocytes and a suppression of immunoglobulin and cytokine production.
Patients would pay around $2,103 annually for this treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.
Nil cost
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