Breast cancer and rare skin cancer medicines on the PBS

The Liberal National Government is improving the lives of patients in the South West with breast cancer and a rare skin cancer by subsidising innovative medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), saving patients up to $150,000 a year.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said in this year’s Budget our Government will invest $81.5 million to list the medicine Bavencio® (avelumab) on the PBS for the first time for the treatment of metastatic merkel cell carcinoma, a rare and highly aggressive type of skin cancer.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino said it has the potential to save and prolong the lives of around 160 patients a year who expected to benefit from this listing.

“Without PBS subsidy patients in the South West would pay approximately $150,000 per year for this treatment,” Mrs Marino said.

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

Mrs Marino said patients in the South West with breast cancer will benefit from an Australian Government decision to list Ibrance® (palbociclib) for the first time, on the PBS.

Mrs Marino said without PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $55,000 a year for this treatment.

“Around 3,000 patients a year are expected to benefit from this listing,” Mrs Marino said.

“These patients will now be able to access this medicine for just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card from May 1, 2019.”

“These treatments improve lives. They reduce the burden of expensive medicines, saving patients and families money.

“Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.

“Our plan for a strong economy continues to deliver record funding for essential health services that saves lives.”