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12 Jul 2019

The Federal Government has allowed affordable access to four new medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Under the PBS, treatment for diabetes, severe cystic acne, depression and lung cancer are now available to patients for $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.

The new PBS listings from are: 

  • Pemetrexed®, a medicine for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and mesothelioma will also have its authority level reduced to make it easier for doctors to prescribe. In 2018, more than 950 patients accessed this medicine and could benefit from this change to the listing which will make it easier to prescribe. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay up to $200 for each course of treatment.
  • Oratane® (isotretinoin), will be listed to the PBS to help treat the 21,000 people per year with severe cystic acne, providing doctors with an alternative for patients who require a lower therapeutic dose. Without PBS subsidy, this medicine would cost patients $43 for each course of treatment.
  • Phenelzine®, will be made available through the PBS for the treatment of patients with depression, when all other anti-depressant therapy has failed. In 2018, more than 900 patients accessed alternative brands and are expected to benefit from this listing. Without PBS subsidy the medicine would cost patients around $800 a year.
  • Fiasp® (insulin aspart), a fast acting mealtime insulin that improves blood sugar control in adult patients with diabetes Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay either $124.24 or $206.59 per script depending on the form prescribed. In 2018, 126,000 patients accessed another form of insulin as part on the PBS and could benefit from this listing.

Every medicine was recommended to be added to the PBS by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from the PBAC.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Government was committed to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them.

“Since 2013, the Morrison Government has listed over 2,000 new or amended items on the PBS,” he said.

“This represents an average of around 31 listings per month – or one each day – at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.”

 


Published: 12 Jul 2019