New listings

The Health Minister has outlined new drugs available on the PBS from this month

Greg Hunt said in a statement that the Morrison Government will provide affordable access to four new medicines through the PBS, treating diabetes, severe cystic acne, depression and lung cancer.

The new PBS listings include:

  • Pemetrexed, “a medicine for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and mesothelioma will also have its authority level reduced to make it easier for doctors to prescribe,” the Minister said. “In 2018, over 950 patients accessed this medicine and could benefit from this change to the listing which will make it easier to prescribe. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay up to $200 for each course of treatment.”
  • Oratane (isotretinoin), “will be listed to the PBS to help treat the 21,000 people per year with severe cystic acne, providing doctors with an alternative for patients who require a lower therapeutic dose. Without PBS subsidy, this medicine would cost patients $43 for each course of treatment.”
  • Phenelzine, “will be made available through the PBS for the treatment of patients with depression, when all other anti-depressant therapy has failed,” said Mr Hunt. “In 2018, over 900 patients accessed alternative brands and are expected to benefit from this listing. Without PBS subsidy the medicine would cost patients around $800 a year.”

He also highlighted the 1 June 2019 listing of Fiasp (insulin aspart), “a fast acting mealtime insulin that improves blood sugar control in adult patients with diabetes Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay either $124.24 or $206.59 per script depending on the form prescribed. In 2018, 126,000 patients accessed another form of insulin as part on the PBS and could benefit from this listing.”

Mr Hunt said the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring access to affordable medicines remains “rock solid”.

“Since 2013, the Morrison Government has listed over 2,000 new or amended items on the PBS,” he said.

“This represents an average of around 31 listings per month – or one each day – at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.

“The Morrison Government’s health reform agenda will make health care more accessible, more affordable and more patient-centred.

“The four pillars of our long term national health plan are: guaranteeing Medicare and improving access to medicines, supporting our hospitals, prioritising mental health and preventive health and investing in health and medical research.”

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