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Medicines Update

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Medicines Update

Impact of F1 price cuts on display

Information has been published demonstrating the operation of the new 5% statutory price reductions on Formulary 1 items, and flow-ons to combination items.

The federal government’s 2015 Access and Sustainability package of changes to the PBS include the introduction of a one-off Statutory Price Reduction (SPR) to apply to F1 Drugs (mainly single brand drugs) once they have been listed on the PBS for at least five years.

The first of the F1 five per cent SPR reduction days will be on 1 April 2016.

Reductions will be applied each April, up to and including 1 April 2020, to each drug on the F1 formulary once it has been listed on the PBS for at least five years.

To view the information, click here 

Contraceptives may offer arthritis benefit

Oral contraceptives seem to moderate patient-reported outcomes in inflammatory arthritis, new research reveals.

A study published in Arthritis Care & Research found that among a cohort of 273 women with early inflammatory arthritis there was evidence of protective benefits from use of oral contraceptives.

The 82% of women with current or past use of oral contraceptives reported fewer problems related to how well they can function, their mood, and how active their disease is.

Glucocorticoids were used by a higher percentage of oral contraceptive never users than by current/past users, especially in patients with impaired function.

The German authors hypothesise that protective effects may be induced via central nervous pathways rather than through the suppression of peripheral inflammation.

DVT treatment now on PBS

Eliquis (apixaban) has been PBS listed from 1 August 2015 for the treatment of deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and pulmonary embolism (PE), and prevention of recurrent venous thromboembolism.  

These serious cardiovascular conditions are associated with more than 5,000 deaths every year in Australia, said manufacturers Bristol-Myers Squibb and Pfizer.

In the AMPLIFY Phase III clinical trial, Eliquis was shown to be as effective (non-inferior) to standard of care (enoxaparin and warfarin) in the combined primary endpoint of recurrent symptomatic VTE or VTE-related death.1 Eliquis demonstrated statistically significant superiority for the primary safety endpoint of major bleeding.

Another Phase III trial, AMPLIFY-EXT, compared Eliquis to placebo for the prevention of recurrent VTE in patients who had already completed six to twelve months of anticoagulation treatment for VTE. In the study, both doses of Eliquis were statistically superior to placebo in the primary endpoint of symptomatic, recurrent VTE or all-cause death.

Eliquis is already on the PBS for other indications.

New PBS myeloma listing

From 1 August Pomalyst (pomalidomide) will be PBS listed in combination with dexamethasone, for the treatment of patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have failed prior treatment regimens with lenalidomide and bortezomib.

A capsule taken once a day, POMALYST is the first next-generation myeloma treatment to offer prolonged survival in combination with dexamethasone in this group of relapsed and refractory myeloma patients.

Treatment options available to patients with relapsed and refractory multiple myeloma who have failed bortezomib and lenalidomide are extremely limited. Those whose disease has progressed after standard treatments often experience significant disease-related co-morbidities, adverse events and poor quality of life.


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