The Health Minister has highlighted new PBS listings from Monday, March 1, including drugs to treat MS, asthma and diabetes
From March 1, Zeposia and Atecture Breezhaler will be listed on the PBS for the first time, and Trulicity will have its PBS listing extended, Greg Hunt said.
“Zeposia (ozanimod) is used to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, and for which a cure is yet to be found,” the Minister said in a statement.
“Over 25,600 people in Australia have multiple sclerosis, and it affects each person differently, with more than 10 Australians diagnosed every week.
“Without the PBS subsidy, over 5,200 patients might pay more than $29,000 per year for this medicine, instead they will now pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.”
Neil MacGregor, General Manager of Bristol-Myers Squibb Australia and New Zealand, said this listing is another milestone for Australian patients living with MS.
“We share this achievement with the MS patient community and are pleased another treatment option is available from today,” said Mr MacGregor.
MS Australia CEO, Rohan Greenland, said the announcement is a positive step forward in helping Australians living with RRMS better manage their condition.
“Each week more than 30 Australians are diagnosed with MS. While research is advancing into the cause, prevention and cure, MS remains an incurable disease.
“Over the last 15 years, people with MS are being diagnosed earlier, and the outcomes for people with MS have improved significantly, with certain disability milestones being reached later.
“The PBS listing of ZEPOSIA is a valuable addition to the repertoire of affordable treatments for those patients who are living with RRMS in Australia,” said Mr Greenland.
Mr Hunt also highlighted the listing of Atecture Breezhaler (indacaterol with mometsone); and Trulicity (dulaglutide).
“Each listing has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee,” he said.
“Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,550 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 $12.6 billion.
“The Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.”
Also listed from Monday is Dupixent (dupilumab) for the treatment of patients, 12 years and above, with severe atopic dermatitis, who have failed to respond to optimally prescribed topical treatments.
This is a first-in-class therapy that blocks proteins responsible for type 2 inflammation in atopic dermatitis.
Dermatologist Associate Professor Peter Foley, Director of Research at the Skin Health Institute, said, “The PBS listing of Dupixent is exciting news for many patients with severe atopic dermatitis and will provide specialists with a welcome alternative to long-term use of topical medication and immunosuppressant therapy.”
“Biologic therapy represents a new treatment paradigm for severely impacted atopic dermatitis patients,” he said.
Dupixent is a fully-human monoclonal antibody that inhibits the signaling of the interleukin-4 (IL-4) and interleukin-13 (IL-13) proteins, and is not an immunosuppressant. Data from Dupixent clinical trials have shown that IL-4 and IL-13 are key drivers of the type 2 inflammation that plays a major role in atopic dermatitis.