Today’s announcement of a further delay in the listing of the melanoma drug Keytruda to September is an inexcusable delay for those suffering from this deadly disease and their families.
Keytruda was approved for listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in March. A price agreement was concluded with the manufacturers in May.
Patient support groups estimate around 40 per cent of the 1500 Australians who die every year from melanoma could be helped by Keytruda.
But today’s announcement of a further delay means these patients will either have to pay around $11,000 every three weeks to access this lifesaving drug, or rely on compassionate assistance from the drug company.
There is absolutely no justification for further delaying the listing of Keytruda until September and this is yet another disgraceful broken promise by Tony Abbott who promised, in opposition, to speed up the listing of drugs on the PBS.