Date published: 
23 December 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Liberal National Government will list a new medicine for adults with genetic kidney disease on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), saving patients around $23,000 a year.

Jinarc® (tolvaptan) will be available through the PBS from 1 January 2019.

It is the first effective drug treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD) on the PBS.

The disease is a genetic, progressive and painful disease in which cysts develop and grow in the kidneys. Most people with this disease will need dialysis or a transplant by the time they are 60.

There are also multiple complications from the disease, which may include hypertension, chronic and acute pain, repeated urinary tract infections, and depression as the cysts grow and quality of life declines.

The PBS listing of Jinarc provides new hope to people diagnosed with this disease that they may be able to have a better quality of life, with potential for improvement for their kidney and overall health.

Around 900 patients each year are expected to benefit from the listing. Instead of $23,600 per year they will be able to obtain this innovative new medicine for just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 for concessional patients.

While 10,000 Australians are estimated to have the disease, most are not diagnosed until the disease is advanced.

One of the saddest things about ADPKD is that it is a dominant gene. A parent with the disease has a 50 per cent chance of passing it on to their children, which means it is very commonly found in multiple generations of a family.

Patients have abnormally high levels of the hormone vasopressin. Jinarc works by preventing vasopressin from binding to receptors in the kidneys, slowing the growth of the cysts.

PBS listing of Jinarc was recommended by the independent, expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

The Government continues to provide PBS listing for every medicine approved by the PBAC to ensure that new, essential medicines are affordable for all Australians.

Our strong economic management means we are providing Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before.

The recent 2018–19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) invests a further $1.4 billion in new medicines, saving sick Australians hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.

We are now making on average one new or amended PBS listing every single day.
Since it was elected, the Government has helped Australians with new medicine subsidies worth around $10 billion.

Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the independent medical experts.

Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.