THE Australian Government is improving the lives of people living with diabetes and hepatitis C by making two treatments more affordable after recommendations made by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).
Ryzodeg insulin delivery pens and the drug Maviret – which is used to prevent the hepatitis C virus from multiplying and infecting new cells – will both be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) as of August 1.
Federal Member for O’Connor Rick Wilson said that before being introduced to the PBS, diabetics had been paying around $930 per year for Ryzodeg.
“Diabetics will now only have to pay $39.50 per script for Ryzodeg, or just $6.40 per script for concessional patients, including pensioners,” Mr Wilson said.
“The Ryzodeg pens allow better diabetic control by enabling users to inject a mixture of long-acting insulin (Degludec) and fast-acting insulin (Aspart) in a single shot, as opposed to administering two types of insulin from two different delivery devices.”
The 170,000 Australians who live with hepatitis C will also see a significant reductions in their medication costs.
“The same reduced prescription costs will also apply to people using Maviret, which in the past has cost patients more than $50,000 per course of treatment,” Mr Wilson said.
“Maviret belongs to a new class of treatments which provide a cure for more than 90 per cent of people treated.
“I am also pleased to announce that the government will provide $1 million to Hepatitis Australia so it can continue its education and awareness activities to improve hepatitis C testing and treatment uptake.”
The PBAC is independent of government by law and in practice. By law, the government cannot list a new medicine without a positive recommendation from the PBAC.
Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising more than $9 billion worth of new medicines.