New melanoma drug to be listed on PBS

Patients with advanced melanoma will soon have affordable access to pembrolizumab following the Federal Government's decision to subsidise it through the PBS.

Health Minister Sussan Ley announced on Sunday that from 1 September, about 1000 patients will be eligible for the PBS-subsidised treatment that costs $150,000 per patient per year.

The decision confirms a recommendation made by the PBAC in March to fund pembrolizumab (Keytruda) for patients with unresectable stage III or IV malignant melanoma who have not been treated with ipilimumab (Yervoy), another expensive melanoma