Ten new medicines will be available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from April 1 this year, according to Minister for Health Peter Dutton.
Designed to treat a range of illnesses, from diabetes to skin conditions, the addition of the new medications to the PBS should benefit many Australian families.
In particular, tocilzumab (sold as Actemera), used to treat arthritis in children, has been added to the PBS at a considerably lower cost, making this important treatment more accessible to affected families across Australia.
Additionally, tobramycin has also been approved on the PBS list in its powder form. This medication is used to treat a bacterial lung infection that commonly affects cystic fibrosis patients.
In its powdered state, the medicine can be administered with a transportable inhaler device, improving the application of the drug on the infected lungs.
"The listing of the powder form of tobramycin on the PBS will help reduce the treatment burden for patients – many of them children – who already have a time consuming and complex treatment regime," Mr Dutton said in a March 18 media release.
Medications on the PBS are often available at a subsidised price for patients who hold Medicare cards. Further changes taking effect on April 1 will see these costs discounted even further.
"Prices will reduce for 121 drugs including major price cuts to several cancer treatments and medicines for gastric reflux, depression and high cholesterol." Mr Dutton explained.
To access those medicines not included in the PBS, health insurance would be a wise investment. Certain family health insurance products can cover many prescription medications. Certain policies will require you to make a co-payment or may enforce a limit on how much you can claim.
If you or someone in your family requires medication not on the PBS, talk to HICA about taking out comprehensive health insurance cover today. HICA can offer a health insurance comparison to help you choose the right policy for your needs.