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Wednesday, 8 February 2017
Page: 304

Senator CASH (Western AustraliaMinister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service, Minister for Employment and Minister for Women) (15:00): I am pleased that, on 1 February 2017, the government has subsidised access to a new drug for ovarian cancer, olaparib. Olaparib previously—and, if you have had ovarian cancer, you would know this—cost a patient more than $104,000 per course of treatment. As many of us in this chamber would personally know, you just find the money and you pay it if that is what you have to do. But now, with subsidised access through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, it is available for just $6.30 for concessional patients and $38.80 for general patients. It is estimated that on average 237 patients per year over six years will benefit from this listing but, in particular, it can improve quality of life and significantly extent life expectancy for these women.

The PRESIDENT: Senator Hume, a final supplementary question.