Deferred drugs now on PBS

The federal government has added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) all the drugs it deferred listing in February.

Labor has been heavily criticised by medical and community groups since it deferred PBS listing of seven drugs in February, even though experts suggested they should be made available.

The government relented on one of those drugs in June and the remaining six are among 48 new medicines added to the list on Friday.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard said more than 160,000 Australians would benefit each year from the subsidised access to the new listed drugs.

They include treatments for serious heart conditions, heart failure in infants and children, tuberculosis and cancer.

Ms Gillard and Health Minister Nicola Roxon said budget savings and recent recommendations from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) meant the government could now afford to subside the medicines that had been deferred.

They said the government would work with industry and consumer groups in the future to manage any further deferrals of drug subsidies.

Source: Sky News.  To read the full article go to –

**The listings include two antipsychotic medications – Invega Sustenna used in the
treatment of schizophrenia, and Saphris, which is used in the treatment of bipolar 1
disorder and schizophrenia.  For more details, see the PBS summary information on new and approved listings here –