PBS additions

April sees the addition of new medicines to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) which may make keeping healthy easier and cheaper.

Osteoporosis

More than 21,000 older women who suffer from osteoporosis are expected to benefit from the addition of zoledronic acid to the PBS. The once-a-year injection will be available to women over 70 years of age with a bone marrow density of -3.0 or less. This increases the treatment options available on the PBS for women suffering from osteoporosis to three and acknowledges the growing number of Australian women who suffer from the disease.

Restless legs syndrome

Restless legs syndrome (RLS) is a neurological disease which has the unpleasant sensations in the legs and an uncontrollable urge to move the legs when at rest. Pramipexole hydrochloride has been extended on the PBS to include the treatment of severe primary RLS and is expected to benefit a further 25,000 people over the next five years.

Cancer

A new solution concentrate of gemcitabine hydrochloride has been added to the PBS and will benefit sufferers of several types of cancer including breast cancer, ovarian cancer and bladder cancer.

Stroke

As the leading cause of long term disability in Australia, almost half of all stroke victims suffer spasms, much of which can improved by rehabilitative therapy. Sufferers will now be able to access BOTOX, which can be used to treat muscle tightness, on the PBS.

For more details about changes to the PBS, visit PBS.gov.au

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