Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
New medicines available through the PBS

Download PDFDownload PDF



STRICT EMBARGO: 1 am Monday 28 October 2013


The Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, announced today that the cost of 50 new and amended medicines and technologies to treat cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and a range of other debilitating diseases will be subsidised by the government.

“About 230,000 people will now be able to receive new and improved medicines they may otherwise not have been able to afford,” Mr Dutton said.

“The new listings include a ground-breaking treatment for melanoma (skin cancer). Dabrafenib, sold as Rafinlar®, which is the first melanoma medicine that targets a genetic mutation that is present in about half of all melanoma cases.

“A new Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS) item will also be listed for the genetic testing that is necessary to determine eligibility for dabrafenib. This means the costs for both the medicine and the genetic test will be subsidised, and will benefit more than 800 Australians.

“A new medicine to treat pancreatic cancer has also been approved. Sunitinib (Sutent®) will provide an important treatment option for approximately 50 patients with this life-threatening condition. Sunitinib increases the survival rates of patients who cannot undergo surgery.

Denosumab (Prolia®), which is currently available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of osteoporosis in women, will also be extended to allow the medicine to be used to treat osteoporosis in men, which will benefit approximately 5,700 patients.”

Mr Dutton said price changes for a number of PBS medicines have also been approved, but patients will still only have to pay $5.90 or no more than $36.10 per prescription to be treated with PBS-listed medicines.

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

A full list of all of the approved medicines and price changes will be available through the PBS website:

NOTE TO MEDIA: To be put in touch with specialist physicians and patients who will benefit from the subsidising of these new medicines, please call:

Kay McNiece, Minister Dutton's Office, 0412 132 585

Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Telephone: (02) 6277 7220 Facsimile: (02) 6273 4146