New listings

As part of its PBS listing, an anaphylaxis treatment is set to be “a-flagged”

Anapen 500 (500 microgram/0.3mL), Anapen 300 (300 microgram/0.3mL) and Anapen Junior 150 (150 microgram/0.3mL) adrenaline (epinephrine) auto-injectors will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from September 1, 2021 for the emergency treatment of acute severe allergic reactions (anaphylaxis) due to insect stings, medication or other allergens.

As part of the PBS listing recommendation, Anapen 300 and Anapen Junior 150 will be “a-flagged” or substitutable with currently available adrenaline auto-injectors.

The move means adult patients weighing more than 60kg will for the first time in Australia have access to a PBS-listed 500 mcg/0.3mL adrenaline auto-injector. 

“Over 126,000 people would otherwise pay approximately $80 for this treatment without PBS subsidy,” said Health Minister Greg Hunt in announcing this month’s PBS listings.

Anapen Junior and Anapen 300 were previously listed on the PBS but removed in January 2017 at the request of the former sponsor.

They and Anapen 500 were approved by the ARTG earlier this year.

“Anapen provides patients living with anaphylaxis more choice when they need it most,” said Hayley Tamborini, Arrotex General Manager – Marketing, Sydney.

“This will enable patients to be better prepared for the life-changing impact of an anaphylaxis attack with Anapen.”


More listings

Mr Hunt also announced news listings for medicines treating schizophrenia, liver disease and lymphoma.

For the first time, Australians with schizophrenia will have access to the antipsychotic Reagila (cariprazine).

“Generally a long‑term illness, schizophrenia cause serious disability if left untreated,” the Minister said.

He said the Government expects that over 39,500 Australians will benefit from the new treatment option.

“Without PBS subsidy, Australians might pay more than $1,200 per year for treatment.

“In another first, Ocaliva (obeticholic acid) is being listed from 1 September for the treatment of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), a chronic disease which causes inflammation and scarring of the bile ducts within the liver.

“Women are 10 times more likely to develop PBC than men and while there is currently no cure, treatment can help slow the progression of the disease and ease symptoms.

“If left untreated and as liver damage worsens, primary biliary cholangitis can cause serious health problems, including liver cancer, liver scarring, high cholesterol and decreased mental function amongst other conditions.

“Without PBS subsidy, around 890 Australians per year might pay more than $60,500 per course of treatment.”

Australians living with previously untreated CD30 positive peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) will also benefit from the extension of Adcetris (brentuximab vedotin) on the PBS, Mr Hunt said.

“Around 65 Australians per year will benefit from this listing, which without PBS subsidy might pay more than $85,000 per course of treatment.”

He said since 2013, the Coalition Government had approved more than 2,700 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 $13.6 billion,” Minister Hunt said.

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