Blood cancers

Last chance to consult on MBS items for 3 haematology technologies


Two weeks remain for public consultation on applications for Medicare funding for medical technologies and therapies for  acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, Haemophilia A and relapsed or refractory large B-cell lymphoma.

The Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) will consider public submissions on  MBS items it expects to consider for at its next meeting on 30 – 31 March 2023.

MSAC says it welcomes consultation input from individuals and organisations with an interest in an application that it is considering. Submissions must be received by no later than Friday, 10 February 2023.

The items include MBS listing applications for:

The application for funding of tests to detect MRD  in patients with ALL has been submitted by the Royal College of Pathologists of Australasia. It claims that measuring MRD is superior to bone marrow morphological assessment, as it allows more appropriate treatment allocation, resulting in more intensive treatment in those with poor prognosis, improving survival, and reducing the risk of recurrence (superior effectiveness, non-inferior safety), and It would also allow less intensive treatment in those with a good prognosis, reducing adverse events.

The application for an MBS item for Takeda’s recombinant Factor VIII therapy susoctocog alfa (Obizur ) claims that it would have advantages over the current treatment options for haemophilia A in Australia based on bypassing agents (BPAs).

The application states that the new treatment avoids risk of thrombosis with RBAs and the lack of reliable laboratory measurements that correlate with clinical efficacy.

“Unlike BPAs, Obizur replaces the missing coagulation FVIII protein and enables measurement of FVIII activity using available standard FVIII assays, thereby, guiding dosing and enhancing treatment efficacy and safety,” it says.

The application for a MBS item for Gilead’s  anti-CD19 CAR T-cell therapy seeks funding for second line treatment of patients with relapsed or refractory LBCL. It notes that other products have the potential for use as a second-line treatment including tisagenlecleucel (Kymriah) and lisocabtagene maraleucel (Breyanzi) but no applications for MSAC have been lodged.

Submissions can be made via MSAC’s website.

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