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New Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listings for the treatment of mental illness.



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The Hon Tony Abbott MP Minister for Health and Ageing

New Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listings for the treatment of mental illness

2 February 2005 ABB06/05

Two new drugs to help people suffering schizophrenia and bipolar 1 disorder are now available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Risperdal Consta® is a new injectable therapy for the treatment of schizophrenia and Zyprexa® will help treat people with bipolar 1 disorder.

Approximately 60,000 people in Australia have schizophrenia and another 100,000 have bipolar 1 disorder. Many patients currently diagnosed with these conditions may not be adequately treated on current medications.

Risperdal Consta® is estimated to benefit about 10,000 patients who either cannot tolerate existing subsidised treatments or have difficulty complying with their current treatment regime.

Zyprexa® has been available for some time on the PBS for the treatment of schizophrenia. The extension to the listing of Zyprexa® will make it available on a subsidised basis for patients with bipolar 1 disorder. It is expected that Zyprexa® will benefit between 10,000 and 20,000 patients per year.

The annual cost to the PBS will be approximately $5,000 per patient for Risperdal Consta® and $2,000 per patient for Zyprexa®. Together, the listing of these drugs will add approximately $220 million to PBS expenditure by 2008/09.

Media contact: Kate Miranda, 0417 425 227