Morphine listed on PBS for chronic breathlessness in palliative care


By Michael Woodhead

27 Aug 2019

Sustained-release morphine (Kapanol) tablets will be listed on the PBS from 1 September for the management of chronic breathlessness in palliative care settings.

The listing will provide subsidised treatment  for symptomatic relief of chronic breathlessness in patients with advanced COPD, cardiac failure, malignancy or other causes.

The restricted benefit listing on the Palliative Care Schedule covers 10mg and 20mg Kapanol tablets, which may be prescribed by both specialist palliative medicine physicians and GPs trained and experienced in treating palliative care patients.

The listing was recommended by the PBAC in March 2019, based on advice provided from the Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC).

It is expected that about 20,000 patients per year will benefit from this listing, which would otherwise mean patients would have to pay more than $143 per course of treatment.

Kapanol was listed on the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods (ARTG) in February 2019.

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