Bevacizumab on the PBS
Page last updated: 2 July 2021
Mvasi®, a biosimilar brand of bevacizumab, was listed on the PBS from 1 June 2021, as an unrestricted PBS benefit, which means all Australians who receive a prescription from their treating doctor for bevacizumab are able to access this medicine at the subsidised PBS price. General patients pay a co-payment of $41.30, while concessional patients only need to pay $6.60 per script.
This follows the removal of the Avastin® brand of bevacizumab, a biological medicine used to treat cancers, from the PBS on 1 June 2021 at the request of the pharmaceutical manufacturer, Roche Products Pty Ltd.
The listing of Mvasi® on the PBS was recommended by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, which included the advice that Mvasi® is an equivalent brand to Avastin® and may be substituted at the point of dispensing. This recommendation is based on an assessment by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australia’s medicine and therapeutic regulatory agency, on the basis of comparability and clinical studies, that Mvasi® is highly similar to the reference brand, Avastin®. This means that Mvasi® provides the same health outcomes and is as safe and effective as the reference brand, Avastin®.
Regulatory standards for biosimilar medicines have been carefully developed over 20 years, through a collaborative effort among major regulatory agencies worldwide, including agencies in the United States, Europe, Canada, and Australia. Mvasi® obtained regulatory approval in the United States in 2017 and Europe and Canada in 2018, and currently has regulatory approval in numerous other countries.
The Australian Government has been working with the manufacturer of Mvasi® to ensure continuity of supply of bevacizumab on the PBS.
A Fact sheet which explains these changes can be found on the Biosimilar Awareness Initiative webpage of the Department of Health’s website.