Some medicines just got cheaper


Cheaper medicines for lung cancer, lymphoblastic and acute leukaemia, and nausea associated with chemotherapy are now available to patients on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

These previously expensive medicines now cost $40.30 per script or $6.50 with a concession card.

A further $390 million in mandated price reductions across 175 medicine brands have also flowed through to patients, making medicines more affordable.

The federal government says the cost reductions deliver cheaper medicines for more than 500,000 patients.

Since 2013, the government has listed over 2,100 new or amended items on the PBS.

Updates to the PBS


The new or extending PBS listings from Friday (18/10/19) include:

  • Apotex®, which will be made available through the PBS for the treatment of patients with nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy. Without the PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $80 per script (around 1 script per course of treatment). In 2018, 7,269 patients accessed a comparable treatment for this condition.
  • Tecentriq® and Avastin®, which will be extended on the PBS to include first line treatment of patients with stage IV metastatic non-squamous non-small cell lung cancer. Without the PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $11,400 per script (around 16 scripts per course of treatment) or more than $189,100 per course of treatment. An average of 755 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.
  • Besponsa®, which will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive (B-CELL precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia). Without the PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $44,500 per script (around 3 scripts per course of treatment) or more than $122,900 per course of treatment without subsidised access through the PBS. An average of 16 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.
  • Blincyto®, which will be extended on the PBS to include patients with relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive (B-CELL precursor acute lymphoblastic leukaemia). Without the PBS subsidy, patients would pay more than $74,900 per script (around 2 scripts per course of treatment) or more than $122,900 per course of treatment. An average of 16 patients per year (for six years) could benefit from this listing.

Visit the PBS website for more information.