Date published: 
15 June 2017
Media type: 
Media release
General public

The Turnbull Government will provide a life-saving treatment to Australian patients who have a rare medical condition known as Morquio A Syndrome, at no cost.

Vimizim® (elosulfase alfa) will be available under the Life Saving Drugs Program from 1 August.

With treatment costing around $400,000 each year, many Australian children suffering from Morquio A have been unable to receive treatment as it has simply been out-of-reach.

It’s an awful disease that cruelly affects children. Having access to Vimizim will be life-changing and indeed life-saving for some of our youngest Australians.

Morquio A Syndrome, or mucopolysaccharidosis (MPS) type IV A is an inherited metabolic condition, with Vimizim the only available treatment.

People born with the syndrome are either missing, or don’t have enough of, a crucial enzyme needed to break down long chains of sugar molecules. As a result they have abnormal development and a possible early death.

Before accessing this new drug, patients will need to undergo a clinical assessment and then yearly checks to ensure Vimizim treatment continues to be effective and appropriate for their condition.

Adding medicines to the Life Saving Drugs Program is rare and Vimizin is only the 13th medicine to be added.

It will cost of $44 million over five years to treat 20 children. We are able to make this life-changing listing today because of our responsible financial management of the cost of medicines.

Since coming into Government, we have added over 1400 new and amended drug listings to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to improve the health of Australians.

Unlike Labor, we are adding medicines recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee without fear or favour. Labor delayed the listing of seven vital drugs.

Australia’s PBS is one of the foundations of our universal health care system and is the envy of many countries.

The Turnbull Government has a rock solid commitment to Medicare and part of this commitment is ensuring people have access to medicine when they need it.

For further information go to the Life Saving Drugs Program website.