PBS may save pensioners thousands

Arthritis, diabetes and cancer sufferers will benefit from a new round of subsidised medicines that are about to hit the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) on 1 April 2018.

The new subsidies will save Australian patients thousands of dollars.

The new round of Turnbull government subsidies includes 11 medicines, most with a focus on treating diabetes. Around 1.7 million Australians have the disease with about 280 new cases announced each day.

Toujeo – a longer lasting form of insulin, has been added to the PBS list, along with a range of oral therapies and expanded subsidies on existing diabetes medicines that may save patients almost $2000 a year.

New medicines to treat cancer will also be added to the list, such as Folotyn, a treatment for T-cell lymphoma; Atezolizumab, or Tecentriq, which treats advanced or metastatic non-small and usually costs around $100,000 per treatment; and Sonidegib, or Odomzo, which is used to treat basal cell carcinoma.

Arthritis and asthma sufferers will receive discounts on Methotrexate, used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis, and budesonide, which helps to treat asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

Those with an inflammatory eye disease will also benefit, with the addition of Dexamethasone, saving patients around $2753 per treatment.

Under the updated PBS subsidies, patients will pay no more than $39.50 per prescription, with pensioners and concession card holders paying a maximum of $6.40.

Will these new additions affect you? How much will you save?

Written by Leon Della Bosca

Leon Della Bosca has worked in publishing and media in one form or another for around 25 years. He's a voracious reader, word spinner and art, writing, design, painting, drawing, travel and photography enthusiast. You'll often find him roaming through galleries or exploring the streets of his beloved Melbourne and surrounding suburbs, sketchpad or notebook in hand, smiling.
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