From 1 November, the Morrison Government will invest more than $86
million over the next four years to provide greater access to life
saving medicines for Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS),
and various forms of cancer.
MS is the most commonly acquired neurological disease in younger
adults with over 25,600 Australians living with multiple sclerosis and
over 2.3 million people affected globally.
The average age of diagnosis is only 30 and around 75% of those affected with multiple sclerosis in Australia are female.
There is a high clinical need for effective treatments for patients with progressive forms of relapse onset multiple sclerosis.
Mayzent® (siponimod) will be listed on the PBS for the first time to
treat those patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.
Without PBS subsidy, these patients would pay more than $25,000 per
year for treatment with approximately 800 patients benefiting from this
listing each year.
The PBS subsidy now means patients will only need to pay $41 per prescription, or $6.60 with a concession card.
In addition to this listing, Australians diagnosed with a rare type
of lymphoma which affects the skin will receive subsidised access to a
new medication and specialised treatment from 1 November 2020 through an
investment of over $11.5 million.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that
affects the skin and causes an accumulation of malignant T-cells in the
skin, resulting in raised, rash-like or itchy patches of skin, skin
lumps or ulcers and swollen lymph nodes.
Uvadex® (methoxsalen) will be listed on the PBS for the first time
for treatment of patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma
who have not responded to other treatments.
Around 75 patients per year may benefit from this listing. Without
PBS subsidy, these Australians would pay more than $3,400 per year.
Concurrently, two new items will be introduced on the Medicare
Benefits Schedule (MBS) for the use of extracorporeal photopheresis
(ECP) in combination with Uvadex® to treat the condition, as recommended
by the Medical Services Advisory Committee.
ECP is a type of treatment that involves attaching a patient to a
machine that removes some of their blood. The machine separates the
white blood cells, and the red blood cells and plasma go back into the
body. The white blood cells are mixed with Uvadex®, exposed to
ultraviolet (UV) light, then put back into the patient. ECP activates
the patient’s immune system to fight the cancer.
Other PBS listings from 1 November – announced in the Budget 2020-21 – include the expanded listing of:
- Tecentriq® and Avastin® (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) for use in
combination to treat patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular
carcinoma, the most common type of primary liver cancer. An average of
500 patients per year may benefit from this. They would normally pay up
to $170,000 for a course of treatment without PBS subsidy
- Lynparza® (olaparib) for the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced
high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal
cancers. An average of 300 patients per year may benefit from this
listing and would normally pay around $140,500 per course of treatment
for this medicine.
These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved over 2,450 new or amended listings on the PBS.
This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per
month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of
The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can
access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.
Source: Thanks liberal.org.au