New Drugs listed on Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme 1 Dec 2006
1 December 2006
New Drugs Listed on Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule 1 Dec 2006
Patients with skin cancer, high blood pressure, diabetes and hepatitis B will benefit from new and extended listings on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)
From 1 December 2006, seven new drugs will be listed on the PBS. In addition, 55 new branded products and 15 drugs that will have their availability extended.
These new listing arrangements will provide treatment to more than 440,000 Australians at a cost of more than $98 million over the next four years.
The drugs that will be listed from the beginning of December are:
- Imiquimod (ALDARA®) - for the primary treatment of confirmed superficial basal cell carcinoma where surgery is considered inappropriate. It is estimated that 150,000 patients will benefit from this listing in the first four years at a cost of $30 million.
- Deferasirox (EXJADE®) - for the treatment of iron overload in patients with disorders in red blood cell formation. Around 500 patients each year will benefit from this drug in the next four years, at a cost of $18 million.
- Rosuvastatin Calcium (CRESTOR®) - a synthetic lipid-lowering agent for the treatment of high cholesterol blood levels at an expected cost of $9.1 million over the next four years for around 700,000 patients.
- Amlodipine besylate with atorvastatin (CADUET®) - for high blood pressure. The net cost to PBS in the next four years is estimated to be $12.6 million for around 100,000 patients.
- Entecavir (BARACLUDE®) - a prescription medicine used for chronic infection with hepatitis B virus (HBV) in adults who also have active liver damage. It is estimated that 20,000 patients will be treated in the first four years of listing at a cost of $3.5 million.
- Rosiglitazone with metformin (AVANDAMET®) – for the treatment of Type 2 diabetes (non-insulin dependent diabetes mellitus). About 150,000 patients are likely to be treated in the first four years.
- Travoprost with timolol maleate (DUOTRAV®) - for the treatment of glaucoma, an eye disease which can lead to loss of sight and blindness if uncontrolled. This new listing is estimated to cost more than $100,000 for 10,000 patients.
Among the drugs whose availability is to be extended are:
- Exemestane (AROMASIN®) - this drug is presently listed for the treatment of oestrogen receptor-positive advanced breast cancer in women. The extension to listing for AROMASIN® will allow treatment of early breast cancer in post-menopausal women who have received two years of tamoxifen therapy. It is estimated that an extra 5,500 patients will be treated in the first four years of listing at a cost of over $10 million.
- Letrozole (FEMARA®) - will be extended for the treatment of early breast cancer in post-menopausal women in addition to its current availability for the treatment of advanced breast cancer. The extended to listing will benefit up to 30,000 patients in the first four years at a cost of $10 million.
- Pimecrolimus (Elidel®) – this drug is used in the treatment of facial or eyelid dermatitis in patients at least three months of age, where patients have adverse reactions to topical corticosteroids. In the past, this drug was only listed for use in patients up to 18 years of age. The extension to listing will benefit up to 120,000 patients in the first four years at a cost of $15 million.
From today, a dedicated PBS website will make it easier for health professionals and consumers to access information about medicines subsidised by the Commonwealth Government. The website address: www.pbs.gov.au