From 1 November, the Federal Government will invest more than $86 million over the next four years to provide greater access to life saving medicines for Australians living with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and various forms of cancer.
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said MS is the most commonly acquired neurological disease in younger adults.
“There are over 25,600 Australians living with multiple sclerosis. The average age of diagnosis is only 30 and around 75% of those affected with multiple sclerosis in Australia are female,” Mr Hogan said.
“There is a high clinical need for effective treatments for patients with progressive forms of relapse onset multiple sclerosis.”
“Mayzent® (siponimod) will be listed on the PBS for the first time to treat those patients with secondary progressive multiple sclerosis.”
“Without PBS subsidy, these patients would pay more than $25,000 per year for treatment with approximately 800 patients benefiting from this listing each year.”
“The PBS subsidy now means patients will only need to pay $41 per prescription, or $6.60 with a concession card.”
In addition to this listing, Australians diagnosed with a rare type of lymphoma which affects the skin will receive subsidised access to a new medication and specialised treatment from 1 November 2020, through an investment of over $11.5 million.
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma is a type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma that affects the skin and causes an accumulation of malignant T-cells in the skin, resulting in raised, rash-like or itchy patches of skin, skin lumps or ulcers and swollen lymph nodes.
Uvadex® (methoxsalen) will be listed on the PBS for the first time for treatment of patients with erythrodermic cutaneous T-cell lymphoma who have not responded to other treatments.
Around 75 patients per year may benefit from this listing. Without PBS subsidy, these Australians would pay more than $3,400 per year.
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.