Thousands of Australians fighting late-stage renal and lung cancer will soon get easier access to a new miracle drug.
From Tuesday, the federal government will subsidise Opdivo so that patients will pay just $38.80 per treatment, or $6.30 for those with a concession card.
Up to now, patients have had to fork out about $5000 a course – adding up to more than $130,000 per year.
“This drug changes lives and save lives,” Health Minister Greg Hunt said on Sunday.
“For patients and their families it provides the precious gift of a full and healthy life.”
It’s one of the biggest listings ever on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, costing the government $1.1 billion.
The drug has been credited with saving the life of AFL star Jarryd Roughead among others.
It’s a type of immunotherapy that helps make cancer cells more vulnerable to attack by your body’s own immune cells.
Unlike conventional treatments such as chemotherapy or radiation, it …
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