27 for cancer ‘miracle’ drug
FOR thousands of Australians diagnosed with lung cancer each year, the prognosis is often grim.
Considered Australia’s most deadly cancer, it is estimated that one person dies from lung cancer every hour, with only 15 per cent of patients still alive five years after diagnosis.
The Morrison Government will today offer a lifeline to lung cancer patients by subsidising a miracle drug, which has the power to dramatically extend the life of sick Australians.
From Thursday, 850 patients with advanced lung cancer will have cheaper access to Keytruda, which usually costs $11,300 per script or $188,000 a year.
Eligible patients with metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) will now pay a maximum of about $40 per script or just $6.40 for concession card holders.
The immunotherapy medicine, which works with a patient’s own immune system to destroy cancer cells, is already subsidised for classical Hodgkin’s lymphoma and late stage malignant melanoma.
More than 6000 people who suffer from a genetic high cholesterol condition called familial hypercholesterolaemia will also benefit from the government’s medicine cash splash today.
On November 1, those patients who are at greater risk of having a heart attack or stroke at an early age will have cheaper access to the drug Repatha when it is placed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.