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PBAC reveals the latest raft of new recommendations made on PBS drugs

The latest recommendations made by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee have been released, with new listings for naloxone among a range of other changes.

PBAC has acknowledged the announcement by Health Minister Greg Hunt of the Take Home Naloxone pilot program “and the potential impact the pilot program will have on potential future naloxone PBS listings”.

After consideration, PBAC said it would be “appropriate” to have a dual listing across Section 85 and Section 100 for existing forms of naloxone to enable their inclusion within the pilot program.

PBAC also recommended the dual General Schedule and Section 100 listing of intranasal naloxone for use in acute opioid overdose.

In its announcement, PBAC said it “considered that there was a public health need to increase use of naloxone to address high rates of opioid overdose, and considered that while the clinical benefits of intranasal naloxone were similar to injectable naloxone, availability of the intranasal formulation could contribute to increasing overall use due to ease of administration”.

Among the other March PBAC decisions revealed late last week were to provide a single influenza vaccine for infants, children and adults, with an extension of the listing of Fluarix Tetra
(quadrivalent influenza vaccine (split virion, inactivated)), for the prevention of seasonal influenza to include high risk and Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander infants and children aged 6 to 35 months of age.

“The PBAC noted that there are benefits to a single vaccine that covers both adults and children, compared to the current NIP listing that only includes separate child and adult products. Based on the evidence presented, the PBAC considered that Fluarix Tetra was costeffective on a cost-minimisation basis to FluQuadri Junior”.

Other changes included:

  • A listing of a 120 tablet pack size of Cal-500 calcium tablets, which is intended to replace the currently listed 60 tablet pack size.
  • Allowing a repeat of enoxaparin for venous Venous thromboembolism (VTE) prophylaxis. The recommendation changes the PBS listing for enoxaparin 20mg/0.2 mL and 40 mg/0.4 mL to increase the maximum number of repeats from zero to one. “The increase in repeats will provide appropriate supply for patients requiring VTE prophylaxis beyond 20 days,” PBAC said.
  • Removing the requirement for patients to have a forced expiratory volume in 1 second
    (FEV1) less than 50% of predicted normal prior to fluticasone furoate with umeclidinium and vilanterol (Trelegy) therapy.
  • Recommending the removal of age restrictions from all PBS listings of direct acting antiviral (DAA) regimens in the current General Statement for Drugs Used for the Treatment of Hepatitis C on the basis that requirements for various regimens were adequately outlined in the approved Product Information documents.

Click here to see the full reports of all positive recommendations, deferrals and other matters.

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