Date published: 
1 July 2022
Media type: 
Media release
Audience: 
General public

From 1 July 2022, Australians will have access to three new drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).  
 
Vitrakvi® (larotrectinib) will list for the first time for the treatment of adult and paediatric patients with certain types of locally advanced or metastatic solid tumours harbouring specific gene fusions. An average of 60 patients per year could benefit from this listing. Without subsidy, patients may pay over $308,000 per course of treatment.
 
The PBS listing of Brukinsa® (zanubrutinib) will be expanded to include the treatment of Waldenström macroglobulinemia (WM), an uncommon type of blood cancer.
 
WM is a rare condition – approximately 2 per cent of all blood cancers diagnosed are WM. An average of 150 patients per year could benefit from this listing. Without subsidy, patients may pay over $104,000 per year for treatment.
 
Ruzurgi® (amifampridine) will also be listed on the PBS for the first time for the treatment of Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome.
 
Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) is a rare condition of the neuromuscular junction that leads to progressive muscle weakness. An average of 50 patients per year could benefit from this listing. Without subsidy, patients may pay over $49,000 per year for treatment.
 
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
 
“All Australians deserve access to universal, prompt, and world class medical care including access to medicines.”
 
“The Albanese Government is committed to ensuring Australians have access to affordable medicines by listing every drug recommended by the independent experts on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
 
“The Government is committed to cutting the cost of medications 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.”

 

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