Melanoma treatment Keytruda now listed on PBS

keytruda - melanoma

From yesterday, patients with melanoma have access to breakthrough medicine Keytruda on the PBS, Health Minister Sussan Ley has announced.

The Government will invest $57 million to list the breakthrough melanoma drug to improve quality of life for 1,100 Australian patients and make the $150,000 per year treatment affordable.

Patients will now pay $6.10 if they are concessional patients or $37.70 for general patients

The listing follows passage of the Government’s PBS reform package through the Senate recently and delivers on our promise to list new medicines as quickly as possible.

It complements $1.3 billion from the 2015/16 Budget for other melanoma medicines as well as drugs to treat breast cancer, blindness and shingles.

Treatment using pembrolizumab (Keytruda) currently costs patients with metastatic melanoma up to $156,130 per year without taxpayer subsidy through the PBS.

Since coming to office, the Commonwealth has now approved 742 new and amended listings to the PBS, with a benefit of $3.2 billion to Australian patients, Minister Ley said in a statement.

This compares with only 331 new listings in Labor’s final term.

Keytruda’s listing demonstrates the importance of ensuring that spending on existing drugs is as efficient as possible, so breakthrough medicines like Keytruda can continue to be listed, she says.

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