Four news drugs have been added to the PBS.
Four news drugs have been added to the PBS. istock

Medication relief for sufferers of four chronic diseases

SUFFERERS of diabetes, severe cystic acne, depression and lung cancer are set to save on their weekly medications.

The Federal Government will add four commonly used medications to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme bringing over the counter relief to the cost of scripts.

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.
Nationals Member for Page Kevin Hogan at the Nationals Federal Council at the Canberra Hyatt Hotel in Canberra, Saturday, August 18, 2018. (AAP Image/Mick Tsikas) NO ARCHIVING
Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan. MICK TSIKAS

"We are listing four drugs on the PBS to help patients living with these debilitating and often life threatening conditions," Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said.

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

He said the Government has listed over 2,000 new or amended items on the PBS since 2013.

This represents an average of around 31 listings per month - or one each day - at an overall cost of around $10.6 billion.