Myeloma Australia welcomes today’s announcement by the Federal Government that the medicine Darzalex® (also known as daratumumab) will be available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for Australians living with multiple myeloma from 1 January 2021.
Steve Roach, CEO of Myeloma Australia, said the announcement represents the first major development in the way multiple myeloma is treated in more than 10 years.
“Multiple myeloma claims the lives of far too many Australians. People living with myeloma, their families and friends understand this reality. The PBS listing of Darzalex means access to a much-needed treatment without financial burden. This is a major milestone that will be warmly welcomed across the country,” he said.
“A core part of Myeloma Australia’s mission is to improve access to the latest myeloma treatments at affordable prices. With the myeloma community, we have been advocating for PBS access to Darzalex for over three years, and we’re delighted to see it eventuate,” said Steve.
The first-in-class medicine will be available on the PBS for people living with myeloma whose disease progresses or returns after initial treatment. Darzalex is a targeted therapy that works by attaching to a specific protein on the surface of a multiple myeloma cell, and thereby activating the person’s immune system to attack and destroy the cancer cells.
Multiple myeloma is an incurable blood cancer that affects plasma cells found in the bone marrow. Roughly 18,000 Australians are currently living with multiple myeloma, with a further 38 diagnosed on average per week. An estimated 1000 Australians will be eligible for the new treatment each year.
Myeloma Australia is the only Australian myeloma specific not-for-profit organisation.
The announcement was made by The Hon Greg Hunt MP, Minister for Health and Aged Care, today 28 December 2020. Click here to view the announcement on the Department of Health’s website.
Myeloma Australia CEO, Steve Roach, speaks about Darzalex being available for people with relapsed or refractory myeloma from January 2021.
ABC TV news clip about the Darzalex announcement, 28th December 2020.
For interview opportunities:
Steve Roach, CEO of Myeloma Australia, is available for interview. For media enquiries please contact Olivia Myeza on 0401 429 970.