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Australia cuts cancer drug price from $150,000 to $30.17

Staff Writer |
Australian cancer patients will be saved hundreds of thousands of dollars after the government announced it would subsidize a new lifesaving medication.

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Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull announced that Imbruvica, a tablet for chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (CLL) patients for whom chemotherapy did not work also known as Ibrutinib, would be added to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) from December 1.

A full course of Imbruvica can cost up to $150,000 but under the PBS a prescription will cost $30.17.

"This life-changing treatment has been out of reach for many patients - that will all now change," Turnbull said at a press conference on Monday.

"Affordable access to Ibrutinib will change and save lives.

"It is a reminder of how keenly focused we are in the fight against cancer."

More than 1,500 Australians are diagnosed with CLL every year making it the most common type of leukaemia.

The drug will also be available to patients suffering from small lymphocytic lymphoma (SLL).

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