News

Several new drugs available on the PBS


Paul Hayes


7/01/2019 1:22:27 PM

Medications to treat genetic kidney disease, a rare lung cancer, and seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis have been added to the PBS.

The Federal Government has made a several new drugs available through the PBS from 1 January.
The Federal Government has made a several new drugs available through the PBS from 1 January.

The Federal Government has made a several new drugs available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 January.
 
Genetic kidney disease
Tolvaptan (trade name Jinarc) can now be accessed via the PBS.
 
Described as ‘the first effective drug treatment for autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease [ADPKD] on the PBS’, the listing of tolvaptan will save patients more than $23,000 a year.
 
‘The disease is a genetic, progressive and painful disease in which cysts develop and grow in the kidneys. Most people with this disease will need dialysis or a transplant by the time they are 60,’ Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt said.
 
‘There are also multiple complications from the disease, which may include hypertension, chronic and acute pain, repeated urinary tract infections, and depression as the cysts grow and quality of life declines.’
 
According to Minister Hunt, rather than $23,600 per year, patients will now be able to obtain the medication for $40.30 per script, or $6.50 for concessional patients.
 
Rare lung cancer
Lung cancer patients with a c-ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS1) gene rearrangement can now access Crizotinib (trade name Xalkori) via the PBS.
 
‘The drug may stop or slow the growth of stage IIIB, locally advanced, or stage IV, metastatic, non-small cell lung cancer,’ Minister Hunt said.
 
‘Without the PBS subsidy the drug would cost over $140,000 per patient, per year. Patients with this rare form of lung cancer will now pay a maximum of $40.30 per script or just $6.50 per script for concessional patients, including pensioners.
 
‘This medicine has the potential to save and prolong the lives of people with this condition and will for the first time become affordable for families battling the one of the rarest type of cancers.’
 
Treatment of seizures
Everolimus (trade name Afinitor) can now be accessed via the PBS. The drug is designed for treatment of refractory seizures associated with tuberous sclerosis.
 
While the medication would cost close to $17,000 per year without subsidy, it is now available for $40.30 per script, or $6.50 for concessional patients.
 
‘Tuberous sclerosis complex causes benign tumours to grow in the brain and on other vital organs.
It usually affects the central nervous system and results in a combination of symptoms including seizures,’ Minister Hunt said. ‘Treatment with [everolimus] may reduce the frequency of seizures.
 
‘This listing will help people who suffer the terrible side-effects of tuberous sclerosis complex.’



crizotinib everolimus PBS Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme tolvaptan





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