National News

PBS support for Australians living with leukaemia

Patients living with one of Australia’s most common forms of leukaemia are set to benefit from expanded access to a breakthrough medicine through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

From 1 December, access to Venclexta® (venetoclax) will be extended in combination with obinutuzumab for the first-line treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia who have co-existing conditions and are unsuitable for fludarabine-based chemo-immunotherapy.

Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is 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.

Based on a landmark research discovery by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Venclexta was also co-developed and trialled in Australia, showcasing the great work of our nation’s medical researchers.

Up to 500 patients every year are expected to benefit from this listing.

Without PBS subsidy, these patients would pay more than $69,250 per course of treatment. Thanks to PBS subsidy, they will pay $41 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.

The Morrison Government is continuing to make important medicines available to Australians at affordable prices.

This listing was 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.

X