Medicines update

Support for hepatitis treatment listing

Hepatitis Australia has welcomed recommendations to include three “ground-breaking curative antiviral therapies” on the PBS.

The announcement that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) recommends adding sofosbuvir (Sovaldi), ledipasvir/sofosbuvir (known as Harvoni overseas), and daclatasvir/ sofosbuvir (Daklinza/Sovaldi) to the PBS is a “watershed moment which will fundamentally change the way hepatitis C is treated in Australia”, the group claims.

Hepatitis Australia CEO, Helen Tyrrell urges the Federal Government “to accept the experts’ advice and ensure a PBS listing is not delayed”.

“The PBAC recommendations are great news for people living with hepatitis C and moves Australia a step closer to making 2015 a watershed year for hepatitis C. However, without confirmation of a PBS listing date, people with hepatitis C are still waiting for access to these medicines.

Sofosbuvir, ledipasvir/sofosbuvir and daclatasvir/sofosbuvir are new generation antivirals. Hepatitis Australia says they have exceptionally high cure-rates that exceed 90%, a shorter duration of treatment and are much better tolerated than traditional therapies.


New arthritis treatment on PBS

A treatment for active Psoriatic Arthritis has been listed on the PBS, effective from 1 April, 2015.

Cimzia (certolizumab pegol) is the only Fc-free, PEGylated anti-TNF for the treatment of adult patients with active Psoriatic Arthritis (PsA) where response to previous disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs has been inadequate.