Date published: 
17 June 2021
Media type: 
Media release
General public

More than 800 Australians with stage IV advanced or metastatic kidney cancer will now have improved access to a heavily subsidised treatment through an expanded listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

From 1 July 2021, Cabometyx® (cabozantinib), will now be available as a first line treatment for Australians with stage IV clear cell variant renal cell carcinoma (RCC). It has been available as a second line treatment for patients with advanced RCC since 2018.

Taken once daily, the oral treatment blocks the action of proteins called receptor tyrosine kinases, slowing the rate at which the tumour grows and improving progression-free survival time compared with some other treatments.

Kidney cancer is the seventh most diagnosed cancer in Australia, with an estimated 4,000 Australians diagnosed in 2020. RCC accounts for 90 per cent of all kidney cancers and is frequently diagnosed at an advanced stage.

Cabometyx® can cost around $120,000 a year without subsidy, but will now be available for $41.30 per script, or as little as $6.60 for patients with a concession card.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,600 new or amended listings on the PBS.

This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $13.2 billion.

Providing the best quality care and support to Australians with deadly cancers is a high priority for our Government.

As part of the 2021-22 Budget we announced a number of measures to support our already strong national cancer screening programs and in April, we held a Ministerial Roundtable with Cancer Australia, the first step in the development of a visionary ten-year Australian Cancer Plan.

These initiatives consolidate Australia as a world leader in the early detection and treatment of cancer.

Former ministers: