Ross Vasta MP

Federal Member for Bonner

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New Treatment for Pancreatic Cancer Approved for PBS Listing

Friday, 19 September 2014

People in Bonner who are suffering from pancreatic cancer will be able to access the breakthrough drug Abraxane on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from November 1.


Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said pancreatic cancer was a highly aggressive disease with very few treatment options.


“The Australian Government has committed over $92 million over four years to subsidise Abraxane, which will improve the lives of around 1,500 Australians and their families,” Mr Vasta said.


Without the PBS listing of this medicine, patients would face an average cost of $16,000 for a course of treatment, at an average cost of $1,300 per script. Once listed on the PBS, that script will cost a concessional patient only $6.00.


The Commonwealth spends more than $9 billion annually to fund existing items on the PBS, which is up a staggering 80 per cent in the past decade.


The listing of nanoparticle albumin bound paclitaxel (Abraxane®) was recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in March, and the details were agreed with the pharmaceutical company in July. It has now received approval from Cabinet.


“Following agreement of pricing and listing arrangements with the pharmaceutical company, the Government has taken less than two months to consider the listing, making it one of the fastest listing approvals for a high cost medicine in recent years,” Mr Vasta said.


All PBS listings are subject to final arrangements being met by the suppliers of the medicine.

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