Two melanoma treatments approved for PBS listing

Two melanoma treatments approved for PBS listing

24 December 2019

In a boost for melanoma patients across Australia, the Federal Government’s PBAC has recommended subsidised access to immunotherapy treatment for high risk early-stage and advanced-stage melanoma patients. Two melanoma treatments are recommended by the PBAC for PBS listing - nivolumab for resected Stage III/IV (high risk) metastatic melanoma, and the combination ipilimumab and nivolumab as first-line therapy for Stage IV (advanced) melanoma.

Co-Medical Directors of Melanoma Institute Australia, Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer, said providing subsidised access to these treatments was wonderful news for melanoma patients and their families around Australia, as until now, they could only access these treatments through clinical trials or on compassionate grounds, or face costs of tens of thousands of dollars.

‘Our clinical trials have proven nivolumab is effective in preventing melanoma recurrence and its spread to other organs including the brain, lungs and liver in the majority of high risk resected Stage III patients,’ said Professor Georgina Long. ‘Our trials have also proven the effectiveness of the combination immunotherapy as front line treatment for Stage IV melanoma patients where their disease has already spread to other organs, including the brain.’

‘Providing certainty of access to these treatments via the PBS will be life-changing and life-saving, and we applaud the Federal Government for this decision,’ added Professor Richard Scolyer.

Shown in photo: Melanoma Institute Australia's Co-Medical Directors - Professor Georgina Long and Professor Richard Scolyer

 

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