These 6 medicines will now be cheaper for Australians under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

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A number of new and amended listings to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) were included in last night’s federal budget.

The PBS allows for certain medicines to be dispensed to Australian patients at a government-subsidised price.

The government will provide $1.4 billion over five years for a number of new and amended listings on the PBS and the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (RPBS).

New and amended listings include:

Carfilzomib

(Kyprolis®)

Patients will have access to this drug from 1 January 2018 for the treatment of refractory multiple myeloma.

Ocrelizumab

(Ocrevus®)

Patients will have access to this drug from 1 February 2018 for the treatment of relapsing/remitting multiple sclerosis.

Tenofovir with emtricitabine

(Truvada®, Tenofovir EMT GH®, Tenofovir Disoproxil
Emtricitabine Mylan®)

Patients will have access to this drug from 1 April 2018 for the prevention of human immunodeficiency virus.

Pembrolizumab

(Keytruda®)

Patients will have access to this drug from 1 May 2018 for the treatment of relapsed or refractory Hodgkin lymphoma.

Nusinersen

(Spinraza®)

Patients will have access to this drug from 1 June 2018 for the treatment of spinal muscular atrophy.

Ribociclib

(Kisqali®)

Patients will have access to this drug from 1 July 2018 for the treatment of breast cancer.

The costs for some of these medicines will be reduced by revenue from rebates negotiated as part of purchase agreements. Details of this revenue was not published due to commercial sensitivities.

Provision for part of the funding for this measure was already been included in the forward estimates.

The government has also amended the prices of 34 medicines which are currently listed on the PBS and RPBS, with effect from 1 February 2018, 1 April 2018 or 1 June 2018.

Under the RPBS, which is subsidised by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (DVA), and can be used by veterans who have DVA White, Gold or Orange Card, the government will provide $86,000 over four years for new listings and additional brands on the Repatriation Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits, and for price amendments for a range of medicines which are already listed on the Schedule.

Along with the new listings, the government has allocated $106.8 million over four years to modernising the health and aged care payments.

This will ensure that the government continues to own and operate the ICT systems that support the delivery of Medicare, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, aged care and related payments into the future.

And it will provide $28.2 million over five years to upgrade the e-prescribing software system used by clinicians to prescribe medicines.

This measure supports a national electronic prescribing system that will contribute to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme efficiency, compliance, drug safety and data collection.

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