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Statement From the Minister For Health

Statement attributable to the Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, regarding our story on Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

I would be delighted if the PBAC approved the listing of Spinraza for adults.

If they do, I guarantee we will list it as we have done with Spinraza for kids.

The Government provides considerable support for Australians with Spinal Muscular Atrophy and has a policy to list all medicines on the PBS that are recommended by the medical experts.

On the advice of the medical experts, from 1 June 2018, the Government listed Spinraza on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of Type 1, Type 2 and Type 3a SMA for all patients under the age of 18, through an investment of $241 million.

This listing brought this life changing medicine within reach of Australians living with this debilitating condition.

Patients would otherwise pay more than $367,850 a year for the medicine without subsidy. This listing mean they only pay a maximum of $41 per script, with concessional patients paying just $6.60 per script.

At its upcoming November 2020 meeting, the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) will consider a submission from Biogen Australia to expand the current Spinraza PBS listing to include treatment of adults with Spinal Muscular Atrophy.

Should the PBAC make a positive recommendation to extend the PBS listing Spinraza to treat adult patients and the sponsor agree to the listing arrangements, the Government will action the PBS listing as a priority.

The Government has an unwavering commitment to providing access to new medicines for Australian patients, and since 2013 has made over 2,500 new and amended medicines listings on the PBS through an investment of over $11.8 billion.