PBS News


24 October 2012

More than 110,000 Australians will benefit from better access to affordable medicines following the Australian Government’s approval of new and extended listings for medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

This includes the decision to extend the listing for aflibercept (Eylea®), a medicine to treat age-related macular degeneration.

“The Government recently agreed to list this medicine on the PBS for new patients.  Following the recommendation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee we have now extended the listing to make the medicine available to existing patients as well,” said Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek.

“This has a simple but real benefit for patients. Instead of receiving eye injections every month, all patients will now have the option of using a medicine that only requires an injection every two months,” Ms Plibersek said.

“I am also pleased to announce an extension to the listing for mycophenolate sodium (Myfortic®),” she said.

“This medicine is used for the treatment of kidney inflammation caused by lupus, a rare illness with a high clinical need that is known to particularly affect the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander population. The extended listing is another example of government and industry working together to bring essential medicines to high-need groups.”

Ms Plibersek said the new and extended listings also included treatments for cancer and deep vein thrombosis.

“This will ensure more patients have greater access to the medicines and treatment they need at subsidised prices,” she said.

Among the new and extended listings are:

  • Aprepitant (Emend®) - for the treatment of nausea and vomiting associated with chemotherapy for cancer
  • Atenolol (Atenolol-AFT®) - for the treatment of high blood pressure
  • Ezetimibe with simvastatin (Vytorin®) - for the treatment of high cholesterol
  • Naloxone hydrochloride (Naloxone Min-I-Jet®) - for the emergency treatment of opioid overdose
  • Paraffin compound eye ointment (VitA-POS®) - for the treatment of severe dry eye syndrome
  • Rivaroxaban (Xarelto®) - for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (blood clots)
  • Sodium hyaluronate (Hylo®–Fresh) (Hylo®–Forte) - for the treatment of severe dry eye syndrome
  • Temozolomide (Temodal®) - for the treatment of certain types of malignant brain cancer.

The majority of new and extended listings will take effect from 1 December 2012. All PBS listings are subject to final arrangements being met by the suppliers of the medicines.

The Government has also agreed to increase the price from 1 December 2012 of nine medicines currently listed on the PBS. This will ensure essential medicines, including some to treat infertility and osteoporosis, continue to be available. A full list of the price changes are available on the PBS website.

For all media inquiries, please contact the Minister's Office on 02 6277 7220