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$56 million investment in cancer and inflammatory disease medicines

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The Federal Liberal Government has listed four new medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), to help patients fighting aggressive forms of cancer and inflammatory conditions.

The $56 million investment will slash the costs of Avastin, Sprycel, Actemra and Somatuline Autogel, and save patients thousands of dollars.

Federal Member for Pearce, Christian Porter, said the listings would provide new hope for patients.

“These medicines enhance the treatment of brain tumours, leukaemia and inflammatory disease of the large blood vessels,” Mr Porter said.

“Their new affordability and accessibility will save more lives.”

Without the subsidy patients would be paying $31,200 for Avastin, $51,900 for Sprycel and $10,200 for Actemra. Under the PBS, these medicines will be available for $40.30 per script, or $6.50 with a concession card.

Mr Porter welcomed the announcement, saying the listings would be hugely beneficial to sufferers, and would inject some much-needed optimism among families and communities.

“These medicines will not only give patients a greater chance of survival, but give their loved ones a much-needed feeling of hope,” Mr Porter said.

“Since 2013, our Government has listed more than 2,100 new or amended items on the PBS. This represents an average of around 30 listings per month, or one each day at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.

“These four listings again demonstrate that the Federal Liberal Government’s commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.”

The four medicines were recommended to be added to the PBS by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from the PBAC.