Life-changing medicine listed on PBS

Breast cancer pink ribbon.

Breast cancer pink ribbon.

A life-changing new medicine designed to treat Australians living with advanced breast cancer has been listed by the Federal Coalition Government on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Federal member for Lyne Dr David Gillespie said the drug Verzenio® (abemaciclib) had just been 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," Dr Gillespie said.

Federal Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, said Verzenio will be a new treatment option for approximately 3,000 patients with this type of breast cancer.

"We know the devastating impact breast cancer has on Australian women and men, their families and their communities," Minister Hunt said.

"Without this subsidy, patients would pay up to $55,500 a year to access this medicine. As a result of this listing on the PBS, they will now only pay $41 per script, or, for concessional patients, just $6.60 per script.

"The Federal Coalition Government is committed to supporting all breast cancer patients, with the hope they may overcome this horrible disease and continue leading a full and healthy life."

Dr David Gillespie said the announcement of the new drug listing would be welcomed by local breast cancer patients.

"It is estimated more than 19,000 women and 160 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2020," Dr Gillespie said.

"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 Australian breast cancer 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).