GPs able to initiate FP 50 prescriptions again

Matt Woodley

3/07/2023 4:57:10 PM

The revised listing follows a concerted advocacy campaign and was confirmed on the same day as a number of other PBS changes.

FP 50
The paediatric preventive asthma medication FP 50 had restrictions imposed on its use earlier this year.

GPs can once again initiate PBS-subsidised prescriptions of fluticasone propionate 50 mcg (FP 50), after the Department of Health and Aged Care (DoH) confirmed its revised listing over the weekend.
Earlier this year, the paediatric preventive asthma medication had restrictions imposed on its subsidised use that meant it could only be first prescribed by a paediatrician or respiratory physician, sparking strong backlash from GPs and advocacy from medical organisations, including the RACGP.
The campaign eventually led the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) to review and subsequently reverse its recommendation, albeit with some minor restrictions being maintained.
Under the new Authority Required (Streamlined) listing, GPs will once again be able to initiate PBS-subsidised prescriptions of the medication without the need to involve a non-GP specialist, provided the patient is not over the age of six. A ‘Brand Premium’ of $4 has also been applied to the Flixotide Junior listing.
In other changes to the PBS, subsidised treatments for diabetic kidney disease and severe thrombocytopaenia are now available, while COVID antiviral eligibility has been expanded.
Federal Health and Aged Care Minister Mark Butler confirmed over the weekend that nirmatrelvir plus ritonavir (sold as Paxlovid) is now available to people aged 50–59 with one additional risk factor following a Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommendation.
He also promoted the addition of Finerenone (sold as Kerendia), which will be available for patients with type 2 diabetes and chronic kidney disease.  
‘Subsidising Kerendia will be life changing for Australians living with diabetic kidney disease,’ he said.
‘Over 26,000 Australians could benefit from the government listing Kerendia on the PBS.
‘Instead of paying more than $1000 per treatment [each year] … Kerendia will cost no more than $30 per script.’
Meanwhile, avatrombopag (sold as Doptelet) has been added for the first time for the treatment of severe thrombocytopenia in patients with chronic idiopathic thrombocytopenia purpura (ITP).
In 2022, more than 600 patients accessed a comparable treatment through the PBS. Without the subsidy, patients could pay around $35,500 per year of treatment.

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antivirals COVID-19 diabetic kidney disease Fluticasone propionate 50 mcg FP 50 PBS thrombocytopaenia

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Dr Issa Khalil   5/07/2023 2:44:55 PM

I was so relieved initially by the decision to restrict inhaled steroids use until after a resp physician or paeds review specially for kids under 12 months old as I have seen in my practice children as young as 6 weeks been put on this for no good reason and their GP told the parents that this is "asthma" which is outrageous saying that I saw same happening after a paediatrician visit too which looks to me like they are just succumbing to parents request rather than following conscious and ethical prescribing rules so now back to the old story again and I feel sorry for the poor kids who will have to get medicated for no good reason.
The reason for restricting prescribing was increasing incidence of pneumonia and hospitalization with URTI with inhaled steroids but yeah I will take it at face value only people who removed the restriction will know why and how but I guess time will tell if it was the right decision. Again!