Date published: 
30 July 2018
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Turnbull Government will help improve the lives of those living with diabetes and hepatitis C by making two treatments more affordable, helping patients save thousands of dollars a year.

In excess of 170,000 Australians, who face the many challenges and risks of living with the hepatitis C, are expected to benefit from the listing of Maviret on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from August 1.

Maviret works by stopping hepatitis C virus from multiplying and infecting new cells. It belongs to a class of new treatments which provide a cure for well over 90 percent of people treated.

Without this listing, patients could pay over $50,000 per course of treatment for this medicine.

I am also pleased to announce that we will provide $1 million to Hepatitis Australia to continue education and awareness activities to improve hepatitis C testing and treatment uptake.

It is critically important to diagnose and treat hepatitis C early to avoid the risk of serious liver disease, including liver failure, cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Over 118,000 Australians adults living with both type 1 and 2 diabetes will be able to more easily regulate their blood sugar levels with the August 1 listing of Ryzodeg on the PBS.

Ryzodeg is the first diabetes pen to contain two types of insulin.

A basal insulin called insulin degludec, which has a long blood sugar lowering effect and a rapid-acting insulin called insulin aspart, which lowers blood sugar soon after you inject it.

Patients would normally pay around $930 per year for Ryzodeg.

These two new listing on the PBS will now mean that from August 1 patients will pay a maximum of $39.50 per script for these medications or just $6.40 per script for concessional patients, including pensioners.

These savings will make a profound difference to Australian patients.

The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended these new listings.

The Committee is independent of Government by law and in practice. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from PBAC.

Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising more than $9 billion worth of new medicines.

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

In the Budget we announced our commitment to invest $2.4 billion on new medicines to build on our commitment to guarantee those essential services that all Australians rely on.

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