The Liberal National Government will make a medicine for a rare type of lung cancer caused by a gene defect affordable, saving patients $140,000 a year.
From 1 January the medicine Xalkori® (crizotinib) will made available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for lung cancer patients with a c-ROS proto-oncogene 1 (ROS1) gene rearrangement.
The drug may stop or slow the growth of Stage IIIB (locally advanced) or Stage IV (metastatic) non-small cell lung cancer.
Without the PBS subsidy the drug would cost over $140,000 per patient, per year.
Patients with this rare form of lung cancer will now pay a maximum of $40.30 per script or just $6.50 per script for concessional patients, including pensioners.
This medicine has the potential to save and prolong the lives of people with this condition and will for the first time become affordable for families battling the one of the rarest type of cancers.
This PBS listing was recommended by the independent medical experts at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).
The Committee is independent of Government by law and in practice. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from PBAC.
Our Government continues to provide PBS listing for every medicine approved by the PBAC to ensure that new, essential medicines are affordable for all Australians.
The recent 2018–19 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) invests a further $1.4 billion in new medicines, saving sick Australians hundreds or even thousands of dollars a year.
Our strong economic management means we are providing Australian patients with access to life-saving and life-changing medicines quicker than ever before.
We are now making on average one new or amended PBS listing every single day.
Since we were elected, our Government has helped Australians with new medicine subsidies worth more than $10 billion and listed almost 2,000 medicines.
Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the independent medical experts.
Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.