From 1 June 2023, Australians with endometrial cancer and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome will have access to new treatment options through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) and lenvatinib (Lenvima®) will be expanded for use in combination to treat patients with advanced endometrial cancer whose disease continues to progress after prior therapy.
Endometrial cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer that occurs in the uterus. When diagnosed, women have an 85 per cent chance of survival for 5 years, but this drops to under 20 per cent when the cancer has spread to other parts of the body.
About 320 women each year will benefit from this listing. Without the PBS subsidy, they could pay more than $170,000 per course of treatment.
Cannabidiol (Epidyolex®) will be expanded on the PBS to treat seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome in patients who have not achieved adequate seizure control with at least 2 other anti-epileptic drugs.
Lennox-Gastaut syndrome is a rare and severe form of epilepsy that usually occurs in children between the ages of 3 and 5 years. It causes developmental delays and multiple types of seizures and results in significantly higher mortality rates than in the general population.
About 1,150 Australians will benefit from this listing. Without the PBS subsidy, patients and their families could pay around $28,000 per year of treatment.
These listings follow on from the new and amended listings in May, which included:
Since 1 July 2022, there has been additional funding approved for 94 new and amended listings on the PBS.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“These new listings bring the cost of treatment to no more than $30 per script.”
“Listing these treatments on the PBS will improve lives for people with endometrial cancer and Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.”
“We will continue to list new medicines and extend listings on the PBS to keep the cost of treatments down for those who need them most.”