Benralizumab (Fasenra) has been listed on the PBS from 1 December for the treatment of uncontrolled severe eosinophilic asthma.
The listing will provide subsidised access for around 670 patients to the monoclonal antibody-based subcutaneous injections, which would otherwise cost up to $21,000 a year.
Benralizumab joins two other biologics that are PBS-listed for severe asthma, mepolizumab for uncontrolled severe eosinophilic asthma in patients aged 12 years and over, and omalizumab. for the treatment of patients aged six years and over with uncontrolled severe allergic asthma.
The listing was recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee in March 2018, with a proposed dosing schedule of injections every four weeks for the first three doses, then every eight weeks.
At the same meeting the PBAC recommended reducing the requirement for the duration of treatment by the same physician from 12 to six months. However a decision was deferred on a request from TSANZ to reduce or abolish the six-month waiting period between switching biologic therapies for uncontrolled severe asthma, a rule that was originally introduced to prevent re-trialling of omalizumab.