Australians living with advanced breast cancer will have access to an important new treatment option, with the federal Coalition government listing a life-changing new medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
On January 1, Verzenio (abemaciclib) - for the treatment of non-premenopausal patients with advanced hormone receptor positive human epidermal growth factor, receptor 2 negative breast cancer - was listed on the PBS.
Verzenio will be a new treatment option for approximately 3000 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. Without this subsidy, patients would pay up to $55,500 a year to access this medicine. They will now only pay $41 per script, or, for concessional patients, just $6.60 per script.
Our 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.
It is estimated more than 19,000 women and 160 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in Australia in 2020. 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 2300 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.
Each of these listings has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. Our government's commitment to ensuring Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.
We are able to provide unprecedented levels of support to health and medical research because of our strong economic management.