Spinal arthritis patients benefit from new medicine added to PBS

 FEDERAL Wright MP Scott Buchholz has welcomed a decision to make a medication for severe inflammatory spinal arthritis more affordable saying it would save Scenic Rim patients more than $15,000 a year.

Wright MP Scott Buchholz

Wright MP Scott Buchholz

Almost 4,000 patients across Australia who suffer from active non-radiographic axial spondyloarthritis will benefit when Simponi® (Golimumab) becomes available on the PBS on December 1.

Scott Buchholz said patients who pay more than $1,300 per script will pay a maximum $39.50 per script or $6.40 if they have a concession card.

He said the best news was that those who needed it most could access the medication without having to wait until it was listed on the PBS.

“Simponi® helps reduce inflammation, swelling and joint destruction for some patients by blocking inflammation through changes to the patient’s immune system,” Mr Buchholz said.

“This listing will save families thousands of dollars and help patients manage their condition and improve their quality of life.”

Mr Buchholz said since coming to government, the Coalition had helped improve the health of Australians by subsidising $9.7 billion worth of new medicines – on average 31 listings per month or one per day.

“In the budget, we announced our commitment to invest $2.4 billion on new medicines to build on our commitment to guarantee essential services that all Australians rely on,” he said.

“Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class health care system.”