Another new PBS listing for Australians diagnosed with lymphoma
Lymphoma Australia welcomes the Government’s recent announcement that patients with chronic
lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) will now have access to VENCLEXTA® (venetoclax).
VENCLEXTA in combination with rituximab will be listed on the PBS from 1 March 2019 for CLL
patients who have relapsed or are refractory to at least one prior therapy and who are unsuitable for
treatment or retreatment with a purine analogue.
Each year in Australia around 1400 people are diagnosed with CLL, making it one of the most
common types of lymphoma diagnosed in Australia.
Professor John Seymour, MBBS, Director of Clinical Haematology at the Peter MacCallum Cancer
Centre and Royal Melbourne Hospital in Australia, welcomed the PBS listing.
“The reimbursement of VENCLEXTA for patients with relapsed / refractory CLL marks a major
milestone in the clinical development journey that included the first patients in the world receiving
this agent on clinical trials in Melbourne in 2011. It is extremely gratifying that this therapy is now
available to patients with CLL nationally.”
Professor Andrew Roberts, Cancer Theme Leader at Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical
Research, said the listing of VENCLEXTA is testimony to the effectiveness of Australian medical
“New medicines like VENCLEXTA don’t happen by accident. They are the result of careful laboratory
and clinical research over many years. The idea behind VENCLEXTA arose from a basic research
discovery in Melbourne 30 years ago. Collaboration has been central to the successful development
of this drug, with Australian scientists and clinical researchers playing prominent roles in taking the
initial discovery all the way from the lab
into this new treatment for patients.”
Deb Sims has worked tirelessly as a patient advocate to have Venetoclax PBS approved in Australia
for all eligible patients.