A lifechanging treatment for chronic kidney disease will be made available to thousands of Australians through an expansion of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing.
The medicine is the first new treatment added to the PBS in more than 20 years for Australians living with proteinuric chronic kidney disease and thousands of Australians could benefit from the subsidised listing each year.
Without subsidy, patients might pay more than $700 per year for dapagliflozin (Forxiga®). Now, it will cost $42.50 per script, or just $6.80 for people with a concession card.
Chronic kidney disease is a silent condition and people who are affected can lose up to 90% of their kidney function before noticeable symptoms appear.
Already used to treat diabetes and heart failure, dapagliflozin treats chronic kidney disease by blocking a protein in the kidney.
This allows blood sugar, salt and water to be removed from the body through urine, which slows down the progression of the disease.
The Australian Government will expand the PBS listing of dapagliflozin from 1 September 2022.
Chronic kidney disease is estimated to cost the Australian health system approximately $5.1 billion per year and access to dapagliflozin will help reduce the risk of progressive decline in kidney function.
Attributable to Assistant Minister McCarthy:
“The Albanese Government is dedicated to ensuring Australians have access to affordable medicines and this listing alone will benefit an average of 45,000 Australians every year.
“Chronic kidney disease takes a heavy physical, social and economic toll on First Nations communities, with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people twice as likely to have the condition.
“The subsidisation of this lifechanging treatment is a step in the right direction and a great addition to Labor’s ambitious First Nations health agenda.”