Australians suffering from liver cancer, myopia and Parkinson’s disease will soon have new treatment options, with amended PBS listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) coming into effect.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the Federal Government will provide over $230 million to expand the listing Tecentriq® and Avastin® (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) on the PBS for use in combination to treat patients with advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma.
“Unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma is the most common form of liver cancer, which often occurs in people with other chronic liver diseases. It also has one of the lowest survival rates of all cancer types,” Mr Hogan said.
“From 1 November, more than 500 patients per year could benefit from PBS listing of this treatment, which would otherwise cost more than $170,000 per course.”
“Australia will be the first country in the world to have this combination treatment publically funded for this type of liver cancer.”
As at 1 October, PBS listings are now helping Australians living with eye conditions and Parkinson’s disease:
- Eylea® (aflibercept) will be expanding the listing for the treatment of subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation due to pathologic myopia. This condition is associated with unwanted growth of new blood cells in the eye that impact vision through a type of extremely acute near-sightedness. Without PBS subsidy, approximately 500 patients could benefit and would otherwise pay more than $5,000 per year of treatment.
- Apomine Solution for Infusion® and Apomine Intermittent® (apomorphine) for the treatment of Parkinson’s disease will be extended, to include access to maintenance treatment through community pharmacy in addition to hospitals. Without PBS subsidy, patients could pay more than $7,500 per script for this medication.
These listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,450 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $11.8 billion.