News

More diabetes medications available through the PBS


Amanda Lyons


27/03/2018 11:42:49 AM

Australians with diabetes will be able to access a broader range of medicines via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from 1 April.

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One of the new diabetes drugs on the PBS is a new form of insulin glargine, which is designed to provide more stable levels of blood glucose and a reduction in night-time hypoglycaemia.

Australians with diabetes will be able to access a broader range of medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from 1 April.
 
Eleven new and expanded listings have been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), including a number of medicines designed to treat diabetes.
 
‘As of 1 April, we’ll be a world leader in diabetes treatment,’ Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said. ‘What this means is that medicines that would have been beyond ability of so many Australians to afford, will now be available and affordable.’
 
Medicines that will be available through the PBS include a new form of insulin glargine, that releases more gradually, providing patients with more stable levels of blood glucose and a reduction in night-time hypoglycaemia. Patients will also be able to access a new combination tablet that assists in lowering their blood sugar levels.
 
In addition, a number of current medicines for diabetes will also be made easily available to patients through the PBS, at the maximum cost of $39.50 per script, with concessional patients paying $6.40.
 
Dr Gary Deed, GP and Chair of the RACGP Diabetes Specific Interest network, told newsGP he is pleased about the possibilities presented by these changes to the PBS.
 
‘New choices allow GPs to be able to pick solutions that can fit a wide range of patients,’ he said.
 
However, greater choice in treatment options can also be difficult to navigate. Dr Deed advises GPs ameliorate this potential issue by ensuring the appropriate education, as well as familiarity with current guidelines.
 
‘It can be confusing for GPs when there are [medication] name and combination changes,’ he said. ‘It really reflects back to why guidelines exist, and getting GPs to consider their educational needs around diabetes and make sure that the choices they use are safe and sound and fit with the PBS and the guidelines.’
 
Dr Deed also cautioned that any change in medication should be very carefully considered.
 
‘If you know an agent or class [of medication], stick to what you know well and use it appropriately,’ he said. ‘The availability of new agents does not necessitate an automatic need to change.’
 
Visit the PBS website to view the updated listings.



diabetes insulin-glargine Pharmaceutical-Benefits-Scheme





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