Lung cancer

PBS allows unrestricted pemetrexed use in first-line treatment of NSCLC

Tuesday, 30 Jul 2019


The PBS de-restriction of pemetrexed to allow it to be used in the first-line treatment of NSCLC has been welcome by the Medical Oncology Group of Australia.

Chair Professor Chris Karapetis said the changing of the listing for pemetrexed on the PBS from streamlined to allow it to be prescribed unrestricted as part of first line treatment for advanced or metastatic lung cancer (adenocarcinoma) was a “bulls-eye” for MOGA’s enduring advocacy efforts in this area.

“In late 2017 the Association’s Lung specialists, including myself, raised the possibility of [changing the listing],” he said.

MOGA clinicians were concerned that pemetrexed was not listed for this indication even though at the time is was one of the standard treatment options in Lung Cancer Management Guidelines.

“Almost two years later I am delighted to congratulate the members of the Oncology Drugs Working Group, including Dr Deme Karikios (Chair), Dr Christopher Steer, Associate Professor Gary Richardson and Dr Anupriya Aggarwal,” said Professor Karapetis

“It is impossible to acknowledge the amount of hard work and dedication that this group of clinicians have put in behind the scenes to enact this positive change that will directly benefit our patients.

Pemetrexed  had undergone a significant price reduction, presenting a potentially acceptable opportunity from a financial perspective to make the drug available to patients through the PBS.

Almost 1000 patients access pemetrexed annually and could benefit from this change to the listing. Without PBS subsidy, patients would pay up to $200 for each course of treatment.

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