The Turnbull Government has announced in the 2018-19 Budget the listing of a life-changing breast cancer medicine on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that would otherwise cost patients around $71,820 per year.

Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, who today attended a Breast Cancer Australia afternoon tea held for women undergoing treatment for breast cancer, welcomed the announcement.

Mr Vasta said the Government’s $703.6 million investment will mean more than 3,000 Australian patients with inoperable or metastatic hormone receptor positive breast cancer will benefit from the 1 July 2018 listing of ribociclib (Kisqali®).

“Hormone receptor positive tumours are the most common form of breast cancer and account for most of the deaths from the disease,” Mr Vasta said.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt, who also attended the Breast Cancer Australia afternoon tea, said by inhibiting two proteins that drive the growth of tumour cells, ribociclib—used in combination with other drugs—will slow the progression of inoperable and metastatic breast cancers in some patients.

Mt Gravatt local Dr David Hunt welcomed the Government’s decision.

“As someone who's lost their mother to breast cancer, I think this Budget decision is close to the heart of many families in our nation,” Dr Hunt said.

“I applaud the Government on this decision. I believe it will help many women overcome this disease in Australia.”

The independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommended the listing of Kisqali.

The Committee is, by law and in practice, independent of Government in its deliberations.  By law the Federal Government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from this committee.

Mr Vasta said since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising approximately $9 billion worth of new medicines.

Minister for Health Greg Hunt said the Government’s commitment to the PBS is rock solid. 

“Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system,” Minister Hunt said.

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