The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
25 February 2022
From 1 March 2022, Australians with acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) will have access to a new treatment option through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
AML is a cancer of the blood and bone marrow in which the bone marrow makes immature white blood cells in high numbers. These abnormal cells crowd the bone marrow, preventing it from making normal blood cells.
Mylotarg® (gemtuzumab ozogamicin) is being listed for the first time for the treatment of patients with previously untreated de novo CD33-positve AML, for use in combination with standard intensive chemotherapy.
Mylotarg® works by stopping the abnormal growth of these cells and destroying them.
Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said around 900 Australians each year are diagnosed with AML.
“AML is one of the rarer forms of cancer, accounting for 0.8 per cent of all cancers diagnosed, but it can occur at any age and is more common among adults over the age of 60,” Minister Hunt said.
“The PBS listing of Mylotarg® will benefit around 60 Australians each year, who without PBS subsidy may pay around $18,000 per course of treatment.
“Instead, from March 1, Australians with AML will pay $42.50 per script, or just $6.80 with a concession card to access Mylotarg®.
“Since 2013, the Coalition Government had approved more than 2,800 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $14.3 billion.”
This PBS listing has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.
This is a strong contrast to Albanese and Labor, who when last in Government stopped listing essential medicines and treatments on the PBS.