Small win in breakthrough medicine for cancer patients
THOSE battling one of the most common forms of Leukaemia will soon receive improved access to a revolutionary new medicine.
Under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, first-line patients deemed unsuitable for standard fludarabine-based chemo-immunotherapy will be permitted to receive Venclexta.
The breakthrough treatment will soon be distributed in combination with another secondary chemotherapy drug Obinutuzumab.
Capricornia Federal MP Michelle Landry revealed up to 500 patients every year would be expected to benefit from the new treatment.
“The Liberal-Nationals Government is continuing to make important medicines available to Australians at affordable prices,” she said.
“Without the PBS subsidy, up to 500 patients would pay more than $69,250 per course of treatment,”
“Thanks to the PBS subsidy, they will pay $41 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.”
Health Minister Greg Hunt said the listing would also provide renewed hope for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
“It’s a relatively uncommon type of cancer, however it is the most common type of leukaemia diagnosed in Australia with around 1,000 people diagnosed each year,” Mr Hunt said.
While an obvious benefit to patients, development of the treatment meant the work of Australian medical researcher was showcased – as co-developers.
The PBS listing has since been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Mr Hunt said the Government had approved more than 2500 new or amended listings on the PBS through almost $12 billion in investments.
This, he, cemented its commitment to ensuring patients would have access to affordable medicines when they need them.