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New PBS listing vital to Australians living with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia

Leukaemia Foundation CEO Mr Bill Petch has today supported the Health Minister Mr Greg Hunt’s Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing announcement of midostaurin (Rydapt®), a targeted therapy that is considered to be an important advancement in the treatment of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in 25 years.

Mr Petch joined industry leaders at the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre in Melbourne to announce midostaurin would be accessible through the PBS from December 1 for newly diagnosed Australian adults with AML who hold the FLT3-gene mutation.

The new treatment would be used as a first line therapy in combination with chemotherapy as well as a stand-alone single agent maintenance in patients responding to initial therapy.

AML is a rare and aggressive blood cancer that progresses rapidly and is frequently fatal, with a five-year survival rate of just 24 per cent. Around 1000 people are diagnosed with AML in Australia each year.

Mr Petch said new precision medicines like midostaurin could contribute to a future where Australians no longer died from blood cancers.

“This is a much needed and long-awaited step forward for AML patients. Having affordable access to these treatments through the PBS is vital for improving their quality of life and ultimately surviving their blood cancer,” he said.

“We look forward to seeing more PBS listings of these new generation targeted therapies to ensure Australians diagnosed with a blood cancer have affordable access to these treatments as quickly as possible.”

The Leukaemia Foundation provides free practical and emotional support to Australian’s diagnosed with a blood cancer including AML. The Foundation produces a series of disease specific newsletters including AML News, and invites all Australians living with the disease to subscribe for ongoing information.