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New bowel cancer treatment on the PBS

New bowel cancer treatment on the PBS
Photo: New bowel cancer treatment on the PBS
Australians living with aggressive bowel cancer will have access to a more affordable treatment after it was added to the medicine benefits scheme.

More than 15,000 Australians are diagnosed with bowel cancer every year, 10 per cent of whom have an aggressive form with poor prognosis.

Bowel cancer is the second deadliest cancer in Australia and the fifth leading cause of death of Australians aged 25 to 44.

From January 1 patients will have access to the subsidised drug Braftovi to be used along with other anti-cancer medicines with the potential to slow down or stop the growth of the cancer.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said listing the drug on the pharmaceutical benefits scheme will benefit around 340 Australians a year who would have paid more than $30,000 for the treatment.

It will now cost general patients $42.50 per script and $6.80 for concession card holders.
Bowel Cancer Australia CEO Julien Wiggins said the availability of the Bravtovi drug on the PBS would be life-changing for patients with the aggressive mutation.

"(Patients) can continue doing the things that matter most to them, whether it's spending time with family and friends, working, volunteering or travelling," he said.

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