Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at the press conference. Pic: Lachlan Berlin
Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry at the press conference. Pic: Lachlan Berlin

CQ’s response to largest PBS catalogue ever

Cancer patients and Central Queenslanders battling certain chronic conditions could save thousands of dollars after a Federal Government MP announced new drugs for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Liberal National Party Member for Capricornia Michelle Landry on Tuesday announced that more breast cancer, lung cancer, osteoporosis and asthma medications would be subsidised by the government.

She told a Rockhampton press conference that some patients had been paying up to $100,000 per year for their lung cancer medications.

“Now, that’ll be reduced to monthly $41.60 for the normal person, and $6.60 for pensioners,” Ms Landry said, which will be the price for all of the drugs listed.

With these new additions, the PBS will host its largest catalogue of subsidies in its history.

Lung cancer drugs Opdivo (nivolumab) and Yervoy (ipilimumab) plus chemotherapy have had their listings extended.

Breast cancer medication Kisqali (ribociclib) has also been extended on the PBS to be used in combination with Fulvestrant Sandoz (fulvestrant) for hormone receprot positive (HR+) patients and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative (HER2-) sufferers with unresectable advanced or metastatic breast cancer patients.

Fulvestrant Sandoz is also going to be available on the PBS for the first time as monotherapy for HR+ and HER2- advanced breast cancer patients.

Patients could pay more than $7900 for treatment otherwise, according to Ms Landry.

Osteoporosis drug Evenity (Romosozumab) is also being listed on the PBS for the first time for over 2800 patients, who may save about $6300 per course of treatment.

And two asthma drugs, Dupixent (dupilumab) and Actectura Breezhaler (indacaterol, glycopyronum, and mometasone) will be added.

Drugs need to be approved by various Australian programs like the Therapeutic Goods Administration before they could be put on the PBS, Ms Landry said.

“It does take a few years to get it through there but pretty pleasing when it does get on the PBS list,” she said.

The government pays for part of the PBS drugs so that patients only need to pay a small fee.

Patients will need to get a script from their GP first, then they can buy the medications from a chemist.

The Australian Government has approved more than 2600 new or amended listings on the PBS since 2013, costing them an overall $13 billion since then.

The PBS changes will come into effect from Thursday, April 1.


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