The Hon. Greg Hunt MP this morning announced the PBS listing of Adcetris will be broadened to treat a rare form of cancer which affects about 150 to 200 Australian's each year called cutaneous T-cell lymphomas.
The federal government will spend $19 million to list the medicines on the PBS, with patients able to access them for $40.30 per script or $6.50 with a concession card from April.
Sometimes confused with eczema, CTCL patients can suffer from itchy, rash-like symptoms across the body which can often go undiagnosed for some time.
It usually affects people aged 40 to 60 years and is more common in men than women, with the drug a combination of immunotherapy and chemotherapy targeting cancer cells.
"It has the potential to save and protect lives," Health Minister Greg Hunt said in a statement on Tuesday.
Without subsidy, an average of 60 patients per year would otherwise pay up to $300,000 a year for this treatment.
CEO Sharon Winton added, "This is a life changer for advanced CTCL patients giving them more equitable and affordable access to this drug. No one should miss out on treatment due to financial reasons and we welcome the additional funding from the federal government."
Greg Hunt was joined by Lymphoma Australia's CEO Sharon Winton and Nurse Consultant Donna Gairns, Prof Miles Prince - Consultant Haematologist, Epworth Hospital, and Mark Brennan - Director Rare Cancers Australia.
Media announcement: https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/three-new-drugs-added-to-pbs-to-ease-cost-pain/news-story/c60544fa0ce6e9656becd79cc253614e