From 1 December 2022, Australians with high cholesterol, chronic heart failure, and a potentially life-threatening blood cell condition will have access to new and updated medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Repatha® (evolocumab) will be extended on the PBS to include more people who have high cholesterol (hypercholesterolaemia). High cholesterol continues to be a major risk factor for developing cardiovascular disease. In 2017-18 more than 1.5 million Australians had high cholesterol.
It is estimated that around 9,900 patients each year will benefit from this expanded listing. Without subsidy people could pay more than $3,700 per year for this medicine.
Verquvo® (vericiguat) will be listed for the first time to treat patients with symptomatic chronic heart failure. Heart failure is a leading cause of death and hospitalisation (and re-hospitalisations) in Australia.
More than 10,000 people are expected to benefit from this listing. Without PBS subsidy, they may pay more than $1,900 per course of treatment.
Empaveli® (pegcetacoplan) will be listed for the first time for the treatment of paroxysmal nocturnal haemaglobinuria (PNH) in adults who don’t respond well to existing treatments.
PNH is a rare, potentially life-threatening condition where red blood cells break apart prematurely. Symptoms occur because of the production of defective blood cells and when the bone marrow does not produce enough blood cells.
Without subsidy, treatment would cost patients $450,000 per year. Around 35 patients each year will benefit from this new treatment option.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“Australians with high cholesterol, chronic heart failure, and a potentially life-threatening blood cell condition will have access to new and updated medicines.
“Listing these drugs on the PBS will improve the lives of thousands of Australian patients and their families.
“The Government is making a trip to the pharmacy cheaper for thousands of Australians.
“The Albanese Government is making medicines cheaper for millions of Australians by reducing the PBS co-payment from the current maximum of $42.50 per script, to a maximum of $30 per script, from 1 January 2023.”