THE HON. GREG HUNT MP
Federal Member for Flinders
Minister for Health and Aged Care
Since 1st of November 2021, residents across the Mornington Peninsula with a respiratory illness, early onset puberty and blood cancer have improved access to subsidised medicines through new and amended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Without this pivotal PBS subsidy, Peninsula residents and Australians might pay more than:
- $1,000 per year to treat Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD),
- $3,600 per year for Central Precocious Puberty (CCP),
- $136,000 per course of treatment for Myeloma.
Since 1st of November 2021, the following medicines and treatments are available:
- Breztri Aerosphere® (budesonide + glycopyrronium + formoterol) to treat COPD,
- Diphereline® (triptorelin), which will be expanded to include the treatment of CCP,
- A new subcutaneous form of Darzalex®, which will assist patients with Myeloma,
- Verzenio® (abemaciclib) which will be expanded for use in combination with fulvestrant through the PBS. A new treatment option for Australians battling advanced forms of breast cancer.
These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Federal Member for Flinders and Minister for Health and Aged Care the Hon. Greg Hunt MP said these new listings will help residents and their families reduce their out of pocket costs when accessing these treatments.
“These new additions to the PBS will ensure local residents can access the vital medicines and treatments they need, more affordably.” Minister Hunt said.
“Medical conditions like Myeloma, CCP and COPD can already place enormous strain on families – not including medical bills – so these new listings will go a long way helping residents across the Mornington Peninsula and Australia get through them.”
“Since 2013, the Morrison Government had approved more than 2,700 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 $13.9 billion.”
“Without PBS subsidies many Australians would be thousands of dollars out of pocket, instead they’ll only pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card for these medicines.”
COPD is a preventable and treatable lung disease, which causes the airways in the lungs to narrow, making it difficult to breathe.
About 1 in 20 Australians aged 45 years and over have COPD and, tragically, in 2018 it was the fifth leading cause of death.
The three ingredients of Breztri Aerosphere® work to reduce swelling and irritation in the lungs and relax the muscles in the airways. Together, they act to relieve and prevent shortness of breath, wheezing and coughing.
In Australia, the average age for the onset of puberty is around 10 years for girls and 12 years for boys. In central precocious puberty, this onset occurs earlier – before 8 years of age in girls and before 9 years in boys.
More common in girls, CCP can cause physical, emotional, behavioural and social problems. Diphereline® is a new treatment option, which will help children manage the condition and reduce the number of consultations needed.
Diphereline® works by lowering the levels of the hormone oestrogen for females and testosterone in males that lead to puberty-related changes to the body.
Earlier this year, Darzalex® (daratumumab) was listed on the PBS for the first time for use in combination with bortezomib and dexamethasone, as a second-line treatment for around Australians with multiple myeloma.
Myeloma is a type of blood cancer that develops from plasma cells in the bone marrow and it is estimated that around 2,423 Australians will be diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2021.
Darzalex® is a ground-breaking treatment that mobilises the patient’s own immune system to fight the disease. This treatment will bring improved clinical outcomes and quality of life for those affected by this disease.
This additional treatment option for patients will provide a more convenient alternative, delivered as a 5‑minute injection that can be administered at home compared with the intravenous infusion which is given over several hours in a healthcare facility.
For more information about these listings, visit https://www.health.gov.au/ministers/the-hon-greg-hunt-mp/media/new-and-amended-pbs-listings-to-help-thousands-of-australians