PBS support for Australians living with leukaemia

People with one of Australia’s most common forms of leukaemia are set to benefit from expanded access to a breakthrough medicine, Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien announced today.
 
From today (Tuesday 1 December), access to Venclexta® (venetoclax) will be extended in combination with obinutuzumab through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), for the first-line treatment of patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia who have co-existing conditions and are unsuitable for fludarabine-based chemo-immunotherapy.
 
Mr O’Brien said up to 500 people across Australia would benefit from this listing every year.
 
“Without the PBS subsidy for Venclexta, patients would have to pay more than $69,250 per course of treatment which puts it out of reach for many people,” Mr O’Brien said.
 
“Because it has now been listed on the PBS, they will pay $41 per script or $6.60 with a concession card, making it more accessible to all Australians.
 
“The Morrison Government is committed to ensuring important and life-changing medicines like these are available at affordable prices, so people can receive them when they’re needed.”
 
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Venclexta listing provided new hope for patients with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.
 
“Chronic lymphocytic leukaemia is a relatively uncommon type of cancer however it is the most common type of leukaemia diagnosed in Australia with around 1,000 people diagnosed each year,” Minister Hunt said.
 
“Based on a landmark research discovery by the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Venclexta was also co-developed and trialled in Australia, showcasing the great work of our nation’s medical researchers.”
 
These PBS listings have been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.
 
Since 2013, the Government has approved more than 2,500 new or amended listings on the PBS at an overall investment by the Government of over $11.8 billion.