Regional Victorians living with advanced breast cancer will have access to an important new treatment option, with the Liberal-National Government listing a life-changing new medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Verzenio® (abemaciclib) is now listed on the PBS for the first time. It will treat non-premenopausal patients with advanced hormone receptor positive human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 negative breast cancer.
Health Minister Greg Hunt said Verzenio will be a new treatment option for approximately 3,000 patients with this type of breast cancer. Without this subsidy, patients would pay up to $55,500 a year to access the medicine. As a result of its listing on the PBS, they will now only pay $41 per script, or, for concessional patients, just $6.60 per script.
Welcoming the news, Nationals Senator for Victoria Bridget McKenzie added: “It is estimated more than 19,000 women and 160 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2020.
“In that, Australia has one of the highest survival rates for breast cancer in the world, with the five-year survival rate at almost 91 per cent. The bravery and determination of so many patients inspires our own determination to list these life-changing medicines, and see that survival rate grow.”
Since 2013, the government has approved close to 2,300 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of about 30 new or amended PBS listings per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the government of $10.9 billion since 2013. Each of these listings has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).
The Liberal-National Government’s commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.