I am pleased to announce all Australian governments have agreed to fund a new treatment for haemophilia patients, through our national blood arrangements.
Hemlibra®, also known as emicizumab, will be made available to eligible patients free of charge through the National Blood Authority (NBA), which is jointly funded by the Australian Government and all states and territories.
This breakthrough treatment would be out of reach for most people at over $675,000 per year, however with funding from governments this will now be available for free for eligible patients.
Approximately 800 patients are expected to benefit each year.
Hemlibra provides relief for patients with haemophilia A, who can suffer life-threatening and severely disabling internal bleeding and joint damage as their blood does not clot.
Currently, these patients require frequent intravenous infusions with clotting factor. If they develop antibody responses to this treatment, they require high cost bypassing agents.
Hemlibra is easier to administer and is only required by patients once a week compared with more frequent and more intrusive alternatives. It is also more effective than current clotting products in reducing bleeding incidents when patients have problems with antibodies.
The National Blood Authority is currently finalising arrangements with Roche, with 63 per cent of costs to be funded by the Australian Government, and 37 per cent by states and territories.
Regular supply of Hemlibra is expected to be available by December 2020.
The haemophilia community has called for this treatment to be provided through the NBA to ensure better treatment is available for affected individuals and families.
I would like to thank state and territory governments for supporting this decision, which will ensure Australians with this serious and debilitating condition can obtain the best possible treatment.