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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Psoriasis sufferers, asthmatics, UCD patients to save on the PBS

Health Industry Hub | December 4, 2019 |

Australians living with psoriasis, severe asthma and urea cycle disorder (UCD) will experience significant financial relief, with breakthrough medicines added and expanded on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), from December 1.

Patients with moderate to severe plaque psoriasis will have access to AbbVie’s new psoriasis drug Skyrizi (risankizumab). Psoriasis is a long-term skin condition that can also affect joints. Without the subsidy, around 9,300 patients would pay up to $32,000 a year for treatment.

More patients with severe eosinophilic asthma will have access to AstraZeneca’s currently listed asthma medicines Fasenra (benralizumab) and GSK’s Nucala (mepolizumab), after the access criteria was expanded. As a result, an additional 1,000 patients each year will have access to these medicines, saving them up to $23,000 per year. In 2017–18, around 2.7 million Australians, or 11.2 per cent of the population, had asthma.

Around 125 Australians with urea cycle disorder (UCD) will save up to $19,000 a year, following the new listing of Pheburane (sodium phenylbutyrate). This genetic disorder leads to the accumulation of nitrogen in the blood, resulting in elevated blood ammonia levels.

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