Media event date: 
1 December 2019
Date published: 
2 December 2019
Media type: 
Media release
General public

Australians living with psoriasis, severe asthma and urea cycle disorder are set to experience significant financial relief, with breakthrough medicines to be added and expanded on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), on December 1. 

Patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis will have access to the new psoriasis drug Skyrizi® (risankizumab).

Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that can also affect joints.

Without the subsidy, around 9,300 patients would pay up to $32,000 a year for treatment. With the Government’s investment, they will now only pay a maximum of $40.30 per script, with concessional people paying just $6.50.

More patients with severe eosinophilic asthma will have access to the currently listed asthma medicines Fasenra® (benralizumab) and Nucala® (mepolizumab), after the access criteria was expanded.

As a result, an additional 1,000 patients each year will have access to these medicines, saving them up to $23,000 per year.

In 2017–18, around 2.7 million Australians, or 11.2 per cent of the population, had asthma.

Around 125 Australians with urea cycle disorder will save up to $19,000 a year, following the new listing of Pheburane® (sodium phenylbutyrate).

This genetic disorder leads to the accumulation of nitrogen in the blood, resulting in elevated blood ammonia levels.

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

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,200 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 $10.7 billion.

Unlike Labor, we are listing all medicines recommended by the medical experts on the PBAC. In 2011, Labor stopped listing medicines on the PBS because they could not manage the economy.

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: