The Hon. Greg Hunt MP
Minister for Health and Aged Care
From 1 December 2021, Australians with gastrointestinal stromal tumour will have access to a breakthrough new medicine listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The Morrison Government will list Qinlock® (ripretinib) on the PBS for the treatment of advanced gastrointestinal stromal tumour (GIST). This listing will make this oral medication available to patients whose condition has either progressed despite receiving treatment with other currently available PBS listed therapies for this condition, or who are intolerant to any of these other therapies.
GIST is a rare type of cancer found in the gastrointestinal tract, which is part of the body’s digestive system. GIST growth usually begins in the connective tissue in the wall of the affected organ. GISTs are most common in the stomach and small intestines but can occur in any site in the digestive system.
Qinlock® is a kinase inhibitor which slows down the growth or spread of tumour cells and is used to treat people who have received prior treatment for GIST. The listing marks the first time in 10 years that a treatment for GIST has been listed on the PBS.
Without PBS subsidy, around 50 patients each year might pay more than $179,900 per course of treatment. Instead, they will pay a maximum of $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.
This PBS listing has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
Since 2013, our Government has 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.
The Morrison Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.