New medicines added to PBS

Health Minister Peter Dutton said it means about 230,000 people can receive treatments they might not otherwise have been able to afford.

The new listings include a breakthrough treatment for melanoma. 

Dabrafenib (Rafinlar, GlaxoSmithKline) is the first melanoma medicine that targets a genetic mutation present in about half of all melanoma cases.

Mr Dutton said the genetic testing needed to determine eligibility for the medicine will also be subsidised, benefiting more than 800 Australians.

Sunitinib (Sutent, Pfizer) will be listed as a treatment for pancreatic cancer. It increases survival rates of patients who can't undergo surgery.

And denosumab (Prolia, Amgen), available on the PBS for the treatment of osteoporosis in women, is being extended to males, benefiting some 5700 men. 

Mr Dutton said price changes for a number of PBS medicines have been approved, but patients will still only have to pay $5.90

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