The Turnbull Government has announced in the 2018-19 Budget the listing of a life-changing breast cancer medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that would otherwise cost patients around $71,820 per year.
Federal Member for Forde Bert van Manen MP said the investment of $703.6 million would mean more than 3000 Australian patients with inoperable or metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer will benefit from the July 1 listing of ribociclib (Kisqali®).
“Hormone receptor positive tumours are the most common form of breast cancer and account for most of the deaths from the disease” Mr van Manen said.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said by inhibiting two proteins that drive the growth of tumour cells, ribociclib — used in combination with other drugs — slowed the progression of inoperable and metastatic breast cancers in some patients.
The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listing of Kisqali.
The Committee is by law and in practice, independent of Government in its deliberations. By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from this committee.
Mr van Manen said since coming into Government, the Coalition had helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising approximately $9 billion worth of new medicines.
“Unlike Labor, we are subsidising all drugs recommended by the PBAC” Mr van Manen said.
“Labor delayed the listing of seven vital drugs – leaving important medicines out of reach for many Australian patients.”
Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the government’s commitment to the PBS was rock solid.
“Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system,” Minister Hunt said.