Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
New Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listings for the treatment of mental illness.

Download PDFDownload PDF

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