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Follicular lymphoma and multiple myeloma treatment now available to Australians through $48m PBS listing

The Leukaemia Foundation welcomes the Federal Government’s announcement confirming new medicine for both follicular lymphoma and multiple myeloma will be added to Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 October 2018.

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Bill Petch said the PBS listing of Gazyva (obinutuzumab) would benefit around 700 people living with advanced follicular lymphoma – a type of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.

Gazyva® helps people living with follicular lymphoma by aiding their own immune system to destroy cancer cells. The medicine has also seen success treating people living with chronic lymphocytic leukaemia.

Gazyva® will be subsidised for people living with follicular lymphoma who have relapsed or do not respond to treatment with another medication, in specific rituximab.

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

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

Last updated on June 8th, 2022

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