MEDICINE RELIEF: Four news drugs have been added to the PBS.
MEDICINE RELIEF: Four news drugs have been added to the PBS. istock

New medication cost relief for sufferers of chronic diseases

FOUR common medications have been added to the PBS seeing the cost of scripts fall by hundreds of dollars.

The government will provide cheaper medicines for diabetes, severe cystic acne, depression and lung cancer, Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said.

"We are listing four drugs on the PBS to help patients living with these debilitating and often life threatening conditions," he said.

The new listings are:

  • Pemetrexed: a medicine for the treatment of metastatic non-small cell lung cancer, and mesothelioma. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay up to $200 for each course of treatment.
  • Oratane (isotretinoin): for the treatment of severe cystic acne. Without PBS subsidy, this medicine would cost patients $43 for each course of treatment.
  • Phenelzine: for the treatment of patients with depression, when all other anti-depressant therapy has failed. Without PBS subsidy the medicine would cost patients around $800 a year.
  • Fiasp® (insulin aspart): a fast acting mealtime insulin that improves blood sugar control in adult patients with diabetes. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay either $124.24 or $206.59 per script depending on the form prescribed.

"Thanks to our investment, the price drops from next month to just $40.30 per script, or $6.50 for concessional patients," Mr Hogan said.

"Since 2013, the Government has listed over 2,000 new or amended items on the PBS. This represents an average of around 31 listings per month - or one each day - at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.

"Our Government continues to list every drug on the PBS approved by the PBAC to ensure that new, essential medicines are affordable for all Australians."