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Monday, 6 June 1994
Page: 1364

(Question No. 1388)

Senator Newman asked the Minister representing the Minister for Human Services and Health, upon notice, on 10 May 1994:

  (1) Why are calcitriol capsules (vitamin D3 or dihydroxycholecalciferol) available on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme for post-menopausal women suffering from osteoporosis, but not available for men suffering from the same problem.

Senator Crowley —The Minister for Human Services and Health has provided the following answer to the honourable senator's question:

  (1) Calcitriol capsules (brand name Rocaltrol) have been registered in Australia for use in established post-menopausal osteoporosis only. The drug has not been approved for use in Australia for other types of osteoporosis. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee is obliged to make recommendations within approved uses for marketing. If the company gains approval for other uses, subsidisation for the other uses can be considered.