Affordable access to new treatment for leukaemia and lymphoma


Member for Forrest Nola Marino said leukaemia and lymphoma patients in the South West will benefit from affordable access to a new medicine, with the Turnbull Government subsidising Ibrutinib.

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.

Mrs Marino from 1 December 2017, it will cost a maximum of $38.80 per treatment and just $6.30 for concessional patients.

“Since coming into Government, the Turnbull Government has helped improve the health of Australians by adding around $7.5 billion worth of medicines to the PBS and is announcement is further support for patients who need it,”
Mrs Marino said.

“This new treatment will provide much needed support to patients who don’t respond to other initial treatments.”
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.

“We are now spending one in every six dollars of PBS expenditure on cancer medicines.”