New cancer treatments listed on PBS

iv cancer infusion treatment

The government has announced a $48 million investment to list new treatments for lymphoma and multiple myeloma on the PBS

This investment will save families up to $100,000 a year, says Health Minister Greg Hunt.

From October 1, around 700 patients with untreated advanced follicular lymphoma – a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma – will no longer need to pay $104,000 to use the medication Gazyva (obinutuzumab).

The listing of this medication on the PBS means patients will instead pay a maximum of $39.50 per script or just $6.40 per script for concessional patients, including pensioners.

Gazyva is used to treat patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

The medication will also be subsidised for lymphoma patients who do not respond to treatment with another medication – rituximab.

September is lymphoma awareness month, said Minister Hunt.

Lymphoma is the most common blood cancer and has over 60 difference subtypes. For most sufferers of follicular lymphoma, Gazyva will slow the progression of the disease.

The government is also listing Pomalyst (pomalidomide) for relapsed or refractory multiple myeloma patients, who can’t take or have a severe intolerance to other medications used to treat the condition.

Myeloma is a cancer of the plasma cells and it is estimated about 30 patients could benefit from this new treatment.

Patients would normally pay around $58,500 a year for this medicine, but from October 1 will only pay a maximum of $39.50 per script or just $6.40 per script for concessional patients.

The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended these new listings.

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