Leukaemia and lymphoma patients on the Mid North Coast will benefit from affordable access to a new medication, with the Coalition Government subsidising the drug.
Ibrutinib (sold as Imbruvica®) would normally cost $187,390 on average per course of treatment, putting it beyond the reach of most patients.
This $466 million listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will save patients hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Nationals Member for Cowper, Luke Hartsuyker, said from 1 December 2017, it will cost a maximum of $38.80 per treatment and just $6.30 for concession patients.
“Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by adding around $7.5 billion worth of medicines to the PBS and this announcement is further support for patients that need it.
“This new treatment will provide much needed support to patients who don’t respond to other initial treatments,” Mr Hartsuyker said.
The drug will be available to eligible patients with relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) or small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).
Ibrutinib is used when CLL or SLL has progressed or has not responded to first line treatment with chemo-immuno-therapy.
It is significantly more effective than the treatments currently available through the PBS.
Health Minister, Greg Hunt said the Coalition Government is guaranteeing Medicare and continuing to make medicines available and affordable for Australians who need them.
“More than 60 new cancer medicines or amended listings have been approved by the Coalition Government since October 2013,” Minister Hunt said.
“This includes new treatments for advanced pancreatic cancer, melanoma, advanced breast cancer, ovarian cancer and lung cancer.”
“We are now spending one in every six dollars of PBS expenditure on cancer medicines.”