Cheaper medicine is on the way for more than 500,000 patients from today with price reductions for common scripts and new medicines added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Medicines to treat lung cancer, lymphoblastic and acute leukaemia and nausea associated with chemotherapy will now be available to patients on the PBS from today for just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.
A further $390 million in mandated price reductions across 175 medicine brands will also flow through to patients, making medicines more affordable.
Federal Leichhardt MP Warren Entsch said the government’s plan for a strong economy continues to deliver record funding for essential health services that saves lives.
“Since 2013, the Coalition Government has listed more than 2,100 new or amended items on the PBS,” Mr Entsch said.
“This represents an average of around 31 listings per month – or one each day.
“This is a significant announcement that reinforces the Morrison Government’s commitment to a healthier Far North Queensland.
“These price reductions will put more money back in Far North Queenslander’s pockets.”
Prime Minister Scott Morrison said the Coalition would continue to list medicine on the PBS as quickly as possible.
He said from January 1, 2020 the threshold to receive free or further discounted medicines through the PBS will be lowered by 12 scripts for pensioners and concession card holders and the equivalent of two scripts for non-concession card holders.
“Our strong budget management means we can give Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before, without raising taxes,” Mr Morrison said.
“This stands in stark contrast to Labor whose failed budget management drove the budget into deep deficit, forcing them to stop listing life-saving and life-changing medicines.”
The new or extending PBS listings from today include:
- Tecentriq® and Avastin® will be extended on the PBS to include first line treatment of patients with stage IV metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Without PBS subsidy it would cost patients more than $11,400 per script (around 16 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $189,100 per course of treatment.
- Besponsa® will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive B-ALL. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $44,500 per script (around 3 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $122,900 per course of treatment without subsidised access through the PBS.
- Blincyto® will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive B-ALL. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than more than $74,900 per script (around 2 scripts per course of treatment); or more than $122,900 per course of treatment.
- Aprepitant Apotex® will be made available through the PBS for the treatment of patients with nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $80 per script (around 1 script per course of treatment). In 2018, 7,269 patients accessed a comparable treatment for this condition.