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Delivering Life Saving Medication on the PBS

Listing new medicines on the PBS is one of the highest priorities of my government. Since coming to Government in 2013, we have subsidised 2,200 new lifesaving and life-improving medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

These include new medicines to treat lung, skin and breast cancer, leukaemia, cystic fibrosis, motor neuron disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis and spinal muscular atrophy.

Some of these medicines cost tens of thousands of dollars, but are now available for $6.50 (concessional) or $40.30 (general patients) per script.

For example, this year we were able to help 3,000 Australian women with breast cancer by subsidising a new medicine called Ibrance®. Without subsidy, Australian patients would pay $55,000 per year.

We’ve also been able to help infants and children living with cystic fibrosis with new medicines Orkambi® and Kalydeco® listed this year, allowing patients to breathe more freely and saving families up to hundreds of thousands of dollars.

And our support for patients also reached those living with a type of multiple sclerosis by adding Mavenclad® to the PBS, benefiting 6,200 patients and saving them around $54,000 per year.

Our stronger economy means the Government can guarantee the essential services Australians rely on, and deliver on our commitment to fund every medicine

recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

From 1 January next year, we’ll also deliver on our election commitment to invest $328 million in cutting the cost of life changing medicines by up to $80 per year by reducing the PBS safety net threshold. This investment will help more than 1.4 million Australians living with chronic conditions.