New $160,000 drug for multiple myeloma blood cancer to be added to PBS at a cost to patients of $480 {3 January, 2021}

More than 1,000 patients with an incurable type of blood cancer are expected to benefit from a “completely new” treatment that will be subsidised by the Federal Government in the new year.

Darzalex, which will be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from January 1, is a medicine used to treat multiple myeloma, a cancer that causes cancerous plasma cells to accumulate in bone marrow and crowd out healthy blood cells.

An estimated 18,000 to 20,000 people are living with multiple myeloma and about 1,000 die with it each year, Myeloma Australia chief executive Steve Roach said.

Miles Prince, the director of molecular oncology and cancer immunology at Epworth Health Care, said treatment options for the cancer had been “quite limited”.

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