From 1 January 2022, tens of thousands of Australians with symptomatic heart failure will have access to a new treatment option on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), saving lives and protecting lives across the nation.
The Morrison Government is expanding the listing of Forxiga® (dapagliflozin) for the treatment of symptomatic heart failure. Forxiga® is currently listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of type 2 diabetes mellitus.
The extension of this listing will be used to treat symptomatic heart failure with reduced ejection fraction (HFrEF).
HFrEF occurs when the muscle of the left ventricle is not pumping as well as normal and the amount of blood being pumped out of the heart is less than the body needs. This leads to the ejection fraction, a measure of the volume of blood the heart pushes out with each heartbeat, reaching 40% or less.
Forxiga® helps to protect the heart from getting weaker and helps to improve common symptoms of heart failure such as breathlessness and fatigue. Access to Forxiga® will help to reduce instances of hospitalisation and cardiovascular death.
It is estimated that for every 100 patients treated with Forxiga® and standard care compared with standard care alone, approximately five fewer patients would die due to cardiovascular causes, be hospitalised for heart failure, or require an urgent heart failure visit.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said around 110,000 people in Australia live with heart failure and 179 people, one person every eight minutes, is hospitalised because of heart failure every day.
"Although deaths from heart failure have decreased, it still accounts for almost one in 50 deaths. This means one person dies of heart failure in Australia every three hours, or eight deaths each day. A tragedy for the individual, family and friends," Minister Hunt said.
"Around 75,000 Australian people a year will benefit from this expanded listing, who without the PBS subsidy would pay more than $630 per year. From 1 January, they'll pay $42.50 per script or $6.80 with a concession card."
Since 2013, the Coalition Government had approved more than 2,800 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 $14 billion.
The Morrison Government's commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.