Media event date: 
5 January 2020
Date published: 
6 January 2020
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Australians living with advanced breast cancer now have access to an important new treatment option, with the Morrison Government listing a life-changing new medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

On 1 January 2020, Verzenio® (abemaciclib) was listed on the PBS for the first time. It treats non-premenopausal patients with advanced hormone receptor positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative breast cancer.

Verzenio® is a new treatment option for approximately 3,000 patients with this type of breast cancer.

Without the subsidy, patients would pay up to $55,500 a year to access this medicine. As a result of this listing on the PBS, they will now only pay $41 per script, or, for concessional patients, just $6.60 per script.

It is estimated more than 19,000 women and 160 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2020.

Australia has one of the highest survival rates for breast cancer in the world, with the five-year survival rate at almost 91 per cent.

The Morrison Government stands with Australians who are fighting breast cancer. We recognise how difficult this diagnosis can be for patients, their families and entire communities.

Since 2013, the Government has approved close to 2,300 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of about 30 new or amended PBS listings per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $10.9 billion since 2013.

Each of these listings has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). 

The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.

We are able to provide unprecedented levels of support to health and medical research because of our strong economic management.

Former ministers: