Date published: 
30 June 2017
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Turnbull Government continues to make medicines available and more affordable for Australians with new listings worth $142 million being added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) tomorrow.

Vorinostat (Zolinza®) will be available for the first time on the PBS to treat eligible patients with relapsed or refractory cutaneous T-cell Lymphoma.

This is a subtype of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma, a white blood cell cancer that initially presents predominantly in the skin.

Without government subsidy, this medicine would cost patients around $18,950 a year.

Also being listed is adalimumab (Humira®) for the treatment of hidradentis suppurativa – an extremely painful, debilitating, inflammatory skin disease.

This medicine would otherwise cost around $35,199 per course of treatment. Almost 400 patients will benefit.

And for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), pirfenidone (Esbriet®) will be added to the PBS.

IPF is characterised by the progressive deterioration of lung function and has debilitating effects on quality of life. The listing provides an additional treatment option for patients with this condition.

Without subsidy, these medicines would be unaffordable for many Australians. PBS listing means the medicines will now only $38.80 per script for general patients and $6.30 for concessional patients.

Since coming into Government, we have added around $6 billion of new drugs to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Unlike Labor, we are adding drugs recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee without fear or favour. Labor delayed the listing of seven vital drugs.

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.

For further information on PBS listings, visit the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme website.