PBS support for Australians living with leukaemia

30 Nov 2020

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.

Member for New England, Barnaby Joyce, said the new listing was ensuring that important medicines at affordable prices were available to more Australians.

“Without the PBS subsidy, 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,” Mr Joyce said.

“It means people in the New England can be assured that the Australian Government is working to provide quality healthcare at a price they can afford.”

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Venclexta listing provided new hope for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

“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,” Minister Hunt said.

“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.”

These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,500 new or amended listings on the PBS at an overall investment by the Government of over $11.8 billion.

The Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.


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