Lymphoma and myeloma treatments to be subsidised through $48m PBS listing | Leukaemia Foundation

Lymphoma and myeloma treatments to be subsidised through $48m PBS listing

The Leukaemia Foundation has applauded the Federal Government’s recent announcement of funding $48 million towards more affordable drugs for Australians living with blood cancer.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of Gazyva (obinutuzumab) this October would benefit around 700 people living with with advanced follicular lymphoma.

“Placing Gazyva on the PBS will mean people living with this disease will now pay $39.50 per script, or $6.40 for concession card holders, instead of paying around $104,000 a year,” Mr Petch said.

“Recent global trials into the effectiveness of Gazyva showed the treatment can improve remission rates substantially,” he said.

“Experts are hoping that improved remission rates is now translating into better cure rates.”

In the same announcement, the drug Pomalyst (pomalidomide) was also granted extended listing for people living with multiple myeloma, which means more people living with the disease will be able to access the drug at a subsidised price. Pomalyst has previously cost patients around $58,500 per year.

“Access to these drugs will vastly improve the access and potential outcomes for Australians living with these diseases,” Mr Petch said.

“Without PBS listings many people living with advanced follicular lymphoma and multiple myeloma would simply not be able to afford these improved treatments,” he said.

“Access to the latest medicines is vital if we are going to improve remission rates in these diseases, and ultimately save more lives.

The Leukaemia Foundation is committed to advocating for accelerated access to improved treatments for all blood cancers.

September is Blood Cancer Awareness Month! We have trusted lymphoma, myeloma and other blood cancer resources available on our new hub here.