Australians with liver cancer, myopia and Parkinson’s disease will have new treatment options under amended Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listings brought in under Tuesday’s budget.
Health Minister Greg Hunt on Sunday announced new funding for medicines including over $230 million to expand the listings for drugs to treat advanced unresectable hepatocellular carcinoma, the most common form of liver cancer.
From November 1, more than 500 patients per year could benefit from PBS listing of this treatment, which would otherwise cost more than $170,000 per course, Mr Hunt said in a statement.
Tecentriq and Avastin (atezolizumab and bevacizumab) will be on the PBS for use in combination to treat patients with the condition.
Mr Hunt also announced that as from October 1, new PBS listings would also help Australians with pathologic myopia to treat unwanted growth of new blood cells in the eye that cause extremely acute near-sightedness.
The listing of Eylea (aflibercept) would benefit around 500 patients who would otherwise pay more than $5000 per year for treatment.
For the treatment of Parkinson’s disease, Apomine Solution for Infusion and Apomine Intermittent (apomorphine) will also be extended on the
PBS to include access to maintenance treatment through community pharmacies and hospitals.
Without the PBS subsidy, patients could pay more than $7500 per script for the medication, Mr Hunt said.
From October 1 treatments for high cholesterol and almost 20 other widely used medicines also will be cheaper.