The Health Minister has announced new PBS listings from 1 September, including a morphine drug and a drug to help manage opioid dependence
Greg Hunt has announced that the Morrison Government will invest over $40 million to provide affordable access to two new medicine listings from 1 September.
Buvidal® (Buprenorphine) will be listed on the PBS to help treat patients living with opiate dependency.
Mr Hunt pointed out that every day in Australia, nearly 150 hospitalisations and 14 emergency department admissions involve opioid harm, and that three people die from drug-induced deaths involving opioid use.
“Buvidal is a medicine used to treat opioid dependence in patients who are also receiving medical, social and psychological support,” he said.
“Buvidal provides a more flexible option for people to manage their addiction replacing daily treatment at a pharmacy or dosing point with weekly or monthly injection, removing cost burden for daily dispensing, reducing travel requirements, especially in regional Australia.
“This medicine will be free for people in need as it will be listed on the Government’s section 100 Opiate Dependence Treatment Program, which does not have any co-payments.
“Without PBS subsidy, the drug could cost up to $92 per script (treatment durations are weekly or monthly) of treatment with the Government investing up to $4,800 for each person per year.”
He said the listing follows calls for new treatments from addiction medicine specialists and the NSW Coroner for new options to curb addiction.
Also listed from 1 September will be Kapanol (Morphine), which will be extended on the PBS to include a new indication on the Palliative Care Schedule.
“Kapanol helps with the relief of distressing chronic breathlessness in the palliative care of patients with severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), cardiac failure, malignancy or other causes,” Mr Hunt said.
“An average of 19,882 patients per year will benefit from this listing.
“Without the PBS subsidy patients would pay more than $143 per course of treatment.”