Thousands of Australians with multiple sclerosis, asthma and diabetes will benefit from the listing or extension of several medications on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), bringing further support to patients and their families.

From March 1, Zeposia® and Atecture Breezhaler® will be listed on the PBS for the first time, and Trulicity® will have its PBS listing extended.

Zeposia® (ozanimod) is used to treat relapsing remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS), a chronic disease that attacks the central nervous system, and for which a cure is yet to be found.

Over 25,600 people in Australia have multiple sclerosis, and it affects each person differently, with more than 10 Australians diagnosed every week.

Without the PBS subsidy, over 5,200 patients might pay more than $29,000 per year for this medicine, instead they will now pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.

Atecture Breezhaler® (indacaterol with mometsone) is used as a treatment for asthma, helping to relax and reduce swelling and irritation in the small airways in the lungs.

Around 2.7 million Australians live with asthma and can experience episodes of wheezing, shortness of breath, coughing, chest tightness and fatigue caused by narrowing of the airways.

Without the PBS subsidy, over 34,600 patients might pay more than $400 per year to access this medicine, instead they will now pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.

Trulicity® (dulaglutide) is used in combination with insulin and metformin to treat type 2 diabetes, by helping the body produce more insulin when blood sugar levels are high.

Almost one million Australians have type 2 diabetes and their pancreas does not produce enough insulin to control blood sugar levels.

Without the PBS subsidy, around 12,000 patients might pay more than $1,700 per year for treatment, instead they will now pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with a concession card.

Each listing has been recommended by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Since 2013, the Australian Government has approved more than 2,550 new or amended listings on the PBS. This represents an average of around 30 listings or amendments per month – or one each day – at an overall investment by the Government of $12.6 billion.

The Government’s commitment to ensuring that Australians can access affordable medicines, when they need them, remains rock solid.