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Making more life-changing medicines available to all Australians

The Australian Government is listing almost half a billion dollars’ worth of new medicines, providing sufferers of both common and rare diseases access to life-changing drugs for as little as $6.30 per script.

Without subsidy from the Government, these medicines cost patients as much as $115,000 per year.

From 1 September, patients will only pay a maximum of $38.80 per script, or just $6.30 if they are a concessional patient.

Stelara® will be available for severe adult Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease which causes crippling pain and in many cases is a lifelong issue.

Australia has one of the highest rates of inflammatory bowel disease in the world with more than 80,000 people living with Crohn’s disease.

This listing will help around 2,600 Australians each year who are living with the most severe type of Crohn’s disease, giving them treatment to help them live a normal life.

Like all new medicines being added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme on Friday, Stelara® will now be available to patients at $38.80 per script or $6.30 for concession card holders.

Stelara® would otherwise cost patients over $68,600 per year.

Zydelig® will also be made available to treat eligible patients with certain types of leukaemia, including relapsed or refractory chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or small lymphocytic leukaemia. It will also support patients with relapsed or refractory follicular lymphoma.

Without subsidy, Zydelig® would cost $60,500 a year for follicular lymphoma patients and $115,800 a year for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia or small lymphocytic leukaemia patients.

This medicine will provide vital treatment for patients who would otherwise have exhausted all other options.

The Government is also subsidising Somavert® for patients suffering from Acromegaly, a rare condition characterised by a consistently high level of circulating growth hormone.

It can result in the enlargement of the jaw and extremities, and, over a prolonged period, may lead to patients suffering multiple health problems.

Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by adding around $7.5 billion worth of medicines to the PBS.

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