About 20,000 Australians enduring type 2 diabetes will be able to swap twice daily injections for a weekly treatment, and save around $1,600 per year under a new medication to be set on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley announced the new diabetes treatment Exanatide will be subsidised under the PBS in addition to a treatment for a rare growing disorder and an extra $70 million investment in the scheme for a cervical cancer drug, from September 1.
"This is easier, it's more economical and most importantly for people with type 2 diabetes, up to 20,000 who can benefit from this treatment, it will avoid long term complications," Ms Ley said.
"Sadly Australia has a very high speed of diabetic amputations, each of which are avoidable.
"This is part of our government's obligation to listing medications without fear or favour on the PBS, once counseled by our specialist committees."
Diabetes Australia gives tick of approval
The listing has been welcomed by the national peak body for diabetic dermopathy.
"What it means is for lots of individuals living with type 2 diabetes they've several injections a day and this will really reduce that to once weekly," the association's Renza Scibilia said.
"It's an absolutely enormous improvement to quality of life, to ease of treatment also, and we understand that means people are more likely to be using the treatment as it truly is prescribed by their healthcare professional."
Girls not responding to cervical cancer treatment will have access to the drug Avastin, which will cost the Government $60 million to record on the PBS.
The Health Minister said it would significantly ease the fiscal impact on cervical cancer sufferers.
"For a girl who gets this treatment, she'll pay what would otherwise be $55,000, but it'll actually cost the price of a script — $6.10 or $38," Ms Ley said.
Ten million dollars has additionally been set aside for a drug to treat the infrequent affliction Acromegaly, which causes abnormal growth of face, feet and the hands.
Ms Ley said the Government had brought about several efficiencies in the PBS to be able to afford the extra investment, including pushing for the use of generic medicines. Get more details at diabetes health forum