The tyrosine kinase inhibitor nintedanib (Ofev) has been listed on the PBS for the treatment of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis.
The listing is the first subsidised therapy for people living with the condition. Patients will be able to access the drug through the PBS if they have been diagnosed with IPF through multidisciplinary discussion, had an high resolution computed tomography (HRCT) consistent with IPF in the past 12 months, an FVC≥ 50% predicted, a corrected DLco ≥ 30% and an FEV1/FVC ratio >0.7.
Associate Professor Tamera Corte, Respiratory Specialist from Royal Prince Alfred Hospital said the listing marked a turning point in how IPF is treated in Australia.
IPF treatment has traditionally included antiinflammatory medications, supplemental oxygen therapy, pulmonary rehabilitation exercise programs and in some cases, lung transplantation, she explained.
“Never before has there been a treatment which has been able to slow the disease progression,” she added. “This is the first time that a medicine has been approved for use and made available on the PBS to treat IPF.
It is an exciting and very significant development in respiratory medicine, with big implications for our IPF patients.”
The phase III INPULSIS trials – involving 1,066 patients from 24 countries, including Australia – showed nintedanib slowed the progression of lung fibrosis by reducing the annual rate of decline in lung function by 50% in a broad range of IPF patient types.
Nintedanib (Ofev) is marketed in Australia by Boehringer Ingelheim.