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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

BMS’ first-in-class therapy for heart disease PBS listed, set to ‘change management’

Health Industry Hub | May 1, 2024 |

Pharma News: Australia’s first cardiac myosin inhibitor for treating symptomatic hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) has been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as of today, 1st May. This milestone follows BMS’s $13.1 billion acquisition of MyoKardia in 2020, with Camzyos (mavacamten) at the core.

According to Professor John Atherton, Director of Cardiology at Royal Brisbane and Women’s Hospital and a Staff Specialist at QLD Health, the reimbursement of a therapy targeting HCM’s underlying pathophysiology offers adults with obstructive HCM a pioneering and precise treatment alternative.

“Importantly, [surgical procedures such as] myectomy and alcohol septal ablation are complex, invasive procedures that pose significant risks,” noted Prof Atherton. “Camzyos will change HCM management, as it represents the first medication specifically designed for treatment of patients with the disease.”

He further added, “Of the conservatively estimated more than 60,000 Australians (one in 400) living with HCM, up to 75% suffer from obstructive disease. Today’s PBS inclusion broadens the therapeutic landscape for those whose lives are profoundly affected by HCM symptoms.”

In agreement, Leigh Bell, President of the Cardiomyopathy Association of Australia (CMAA) and long-term cardiomyopathy patient, welcomed the reimbursement as an additional tool for cardiologists, ensuring equal access for all suitable HCM patients.

“Given the sheer toll HCM can have on a person’s daily life, and that symptomatic patients experience nearly eight-times as many hospitalisations than those free from the disease, a targeted treatment option is important for our patient community.

“We are grateful to have this treatment option now available on the PBS, which provides equity of access for all HCM patients deemed suitable,” stated Ms Bell.

BMS Australia and New Zealand Medical Director, Dr Meredith Edwards, underscored the significance of this development for the patient cohort.

“The reimbursement of this first-of-its kind medicine may help to address an unmet need for Australians living with symptomatic NYHA class II-III obstructive HCM,” Dr Edwards affirmed.

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