Date published: 
1 July 2018
Media type: 
Transcript
Audience: 
General public

JOURNALIST:
Alright, well the breast cancer drug Kisqali – what changes? What happens with that under the PBS?

GREG HUNT:
So a drug that was going to be $70,000 a year will now come down to $39.50 or $6.40, and for over 3000 women this is life-changing or potentially life-saving.

It’s about ensuring that we have the best treatment under the best health system, in my view, in the world.

And we’re also helping out men with potential prostate cancer through new MRI treatments under the Medicare scheme.

JOURNALIST:
So, weren’t there a lot of women who could not afford Kisqali before?

GREG HUNT:
Yes, I’ve met many women who would have loved to have been on Kisqali but it hadn’t been through the medical approvals process.

It’s been approved by the medical experts, it’s been listed on the PBS and this brings life-changing and lifesaving treatment within the reach of every Australian woman.

JOURNALIST:
Now, it doesn’t cover all women with breast cancer. It only applies to women who have been newly diagnosed. What about the women who can’t get it?

GREG HUNT:
So, I’d encourage the company to complete their clinical trials and to bring them forward and if the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee or the medical experts recommend it, we guarantee we’ll list it.

JOURNALIST:
So, can you just explain why it’s not available to them?

GREG HUNT:
Medicines are listed by companies bringing forward proposals which are then approved. They haven’t brought forward a proposal for a wider use.

But at this point, this will give over 3000 women access and, as with every medicine, if the company brings it forward and the medical experts approve it, we’ll list it.

JOURNALIST:
Okay, thank you.

GREG HUNT:
Great.

JOURNALIST:
Okay, what’s your reaction to Mr Shorten’s speech today?

GREG HUNT:
As ever, Mr Shorten has walked away from his own responsibility. He was the person who introduced the reference to the Fair Work Commission.

They adopt it – his proposal, his recommendation for a review – and this is something that he himself has caused but simply won’t take responsibility for.

JOURNALIST:
Okay, thank you.

GREG HUNT:
Okay, thank you.