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.
Cimzia is already subsidised on restricted benefit for adults with severe active rheumatoid arthritis and adults with severe active Ankylosing Spondylitis who have been intolerant to, or have inadequate response to at least two non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.
Full product information is available here or from the manufacturer UCB Australia.
PSA plays a global role
The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia has played a major role in advocating for the International Pharmaceutical Federation (FIP) to take the lead in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.
FIP has announced it will be developing a briefing document on the role of pharmacists in this area, in time for FIP’s Annual congress in Düsseldorf later this year.
The document will aim to prompt action on the issue of antibiotics and resistance and to serve as a foundation for future work within FIP on this topic, including a revision of the FIP statement on AMR.
Antimicrobial resistance and responsible use of antimicrobials will also be discussed at a stakeholder roundtable held prior to the 2016 FIP Congress in Buenos Aires.
PSA and the Royal Pharmaceutical Society are encouraging strong AMR stewardship amongst FIP membership, assistance in sharing current evidence, and raising the profile of pharmacists’ role in antimicrobial stewardship.