News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Affordable medicines for over 500,000 Australians

Health Industry Hub | October 2, 2019 |
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New PBS listings and price reductions enhance access to medicines for more than 500,000 Australian patients from October 1, 2019.

Treatments to treat lung cancer, lymphoblastic and acute leukaemia, and nausea associated with chemotherapy will now be available to patients on the PBS for $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.

Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Coalition would continue to list medicine on the PBS as quickly as possible.

“Our strong budget management means we can give Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before, without raising taxes,” the Prime Minister said. 

“This stands in stark contrast to Labor whose failed budget management drove the budget into deep deficit, forcing them to stop listing lifesaving and life changing medicines.”

The new or extending PBS listings from 1 October include:

  • Tecentriq and Avastin, will be extended on the PBS to include first line treatment of patients with stage IV metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Without PBS subsidy it would cost patients more than $11,400 per script (around 16 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $189,100 per course of treatment. An average of 755 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.
  • Besponsa, will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive B-ALL. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $44,500 per script (around 3 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $122,900 per course of treatment without subsidised access through the PBS. An average of 16 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.
  • Blincyto, will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive B-ALL. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than more than $74,900 per script (around 2 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $122,900 per course of treatment. An average of 16 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.
  • Aprepitant, will be made available through the PBS for the treatment of patients with Nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $80 per script (around 1 script per course of treatment). In 2018, 7,269 patients accessed a comparable treatment for this condition.

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Minister for Health Greg Hunt said every six months, prices on a range of PBS medicines are also reduced as a result of the Morrison Government’s Price Disclosure Policy.

Fifteen common medicines – sold as 175 medicine brands will be cheaper for general (non-concessional) patients, and these include:

  • Pregabalin: around 208,000 patients per year who have seizures or nerve pain will now pay $28.27 per script for 75 mg capsules, a saving of up to $5.11 per script
  • Ezetimibe: around 60,000 patients per year with high cholesterol levels will now pay $33.86 per script for 10 mg tablets, a saving of up to $6.44 per script
  • Ezetimibe with Simvastatin: about 245,000 patients with high cholesterol levels will now pay $37.77 per script for 10 mg tablets, a saving of up to $2.53 per script.

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