Australians Benefit From New Lifechanging Medicines Added To PBS

Department of Health

Women with endometrial cancer and people with itching associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD) will benefit from new lifechanging medicines added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from May 1.

Dostarlimab (Jemperli®) will be listed for the first time, for the treatment of women battling primary advanced or first recurrent endometrial cancer that is classified as mismatch repair deficient (dMMR), in combination with chemotherapy.

Until now, the only first line option for women with this form of dMMR endometrial cancer was chemotherapy.

Jemperli works by supporting the patient’s immune system to target the cancerous cells.

Around 200 women each year are expected to benefit from this listing. Without subsidy, patients might pay more than $139,000 per course of treatment.

Difelikefalin (Korsuva®) will be listed for the first time to treat patients with chronic kidney disease who are undergoing haemodialysis and experience moderate to severe itching, known as pruritus.

In 2021, around 15,200 Australians with kidney failure received dialysis. Of these, 4 out of 5 patients received haemodialysis, the most common type of dialysis used for people with kidney failure.

Pruritus associated with CKD is a distressing symptom experienced by patients with mainly advanced chronic kidney disease. It can negatively impact sleep, mood and quality of life, and can be associated with complications such as infections and increased mortality.

Around 2,800 patients each year are expected to benefit from this listing. Without subsidy, patients might pay around $7,200 per year of treatment.

From 1 May, eligible patients will pay a maximum $31.60 per script or $7.70 with a concession card for these medicines.

Since July 2022, the Government has approved extra funding for 193 new and amended listings on the PBS.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“These listings represent new hope and help for many Australians.

“Endometrial cancer is Australia’s most common female reproductive cancer – more than 3,200 women are diagnosed every year.

“The listing of Jemperli will give Australian women battling endometrial cancer another tool to fight their horrible disease.

“The listing of Korsuva will give new hope for the thousands of Australians that live with chronic kidney disease associated relentless itch that they now have a targeted treatment for the first time.

“The Albanese Government is committed to listing new lifechanging medicines on the PBS to ensure all Australians have early, safe access.”

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