Hormones

Adult patients with GH deficiency now eligible for PBS subsidised somatropin


PBS criteria for Growth Hormone (GH) prescribing have been eased to allow adult patients with childhood onset growth hormone deficiency (CO-GHD) to be eligible for PBS-subsidised adult use somatropin.

From 1 January 2020, adults patients with CO-GHD due to a congenital, genetic or structural cause will be able to access growth hormone if they meet the PBS restriction criteria, once they no longer meet the PBS restriction criteria for paediatric growth hormone treatment.

In changes made to the S100 program, the adult listing of somatropin has been amended so that most patients with CO-GHD due to a congenital, genetic or structural cause will be able to access somatropin either from the age of 18 years or once skeletal maturity is reached.

Patients with Prader-Willi syndrome, will be eligible for adult use somatropin at the age of 18 years or over.

The health department said that for initial treatment in adults, somatropin must be prescribed by an endocrinologist. For continuing treatment, it must be prescribed by an endocrinologist or in consultation with an endocrinologist.

And it added that endocrinologists will soon be able to lodge Authority applications and receive ‘real time’ responses via the Online PBS Authorities System for all growth hormone prescriptions, similar to the current paediatric growth hormone online Authority application system.

Initial Authority applications for growth hormone in adults will need to be supported by results from provocation tests. However, patients who have previously received PBS-subsidised therapy as children are no longer required to provide provocation tests to meet the eligibility criteria for adult use somatropin since evidence of growth hormone deficiency was provided in childhood.

The new adult listing also includes provisions to grandfather patients who have previously received non PBS-subsidised treatment with somatropin prior to 1 December 2018.

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