North Queensland Patients Save $150,000 on Medicines

Monday, 1st April 2019


North Queenslanders battling breast cancer and rare skin cancers could save up to $150,000 a year on medicine through the Australian Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The Coalition Government will this year, invest $81.5 million to list the medicine Bavencio (avelumab), which treats a rare and highly aggressive type of skin cancer, on PBS for the first time.

North Queensland patients struggling with breast cancer will also benefit from the addition of Ibrance (palbociclib) to the PBS listing, which helps to slow the progression of breast cancer.

From May 1 this year, both treatments will be reduced to the PBS price of $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.

Without the PBS subsidy, patients in North Queensland would have to pay approximately $150,000 per year for Bavencio and $55,000 for Ibrance.

Queensland’s only northern-based Senator Ian Macdonald said the treatments would improve the lives of those living with breast and skin cancer.

“Having access to these medicines through the PBS subsidy will reduce the burden of expensive medicine, saving patients and their families money,” Senator Macdonald said.

“The Coalition Government is committed to delivering world-class health care to Australians. PBS and Medicine is the foundation of this and ensures that everyone in our nation has access to essential medicines, treatments and health services.”

Since 2013, the Government more than 2,000 new or amended items on the PBS.

“The Morrison Government is able to afford these items because we have been able to manage the budget correctly,” Senator Macdonald said.

This represents an average of around 30 listings per month at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.”


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