Historic PBS listing of epilepsy cannabis medicine gains support of CA Clinics

CA Clinics

CA Clinics

embraces the addition of Epidyolex to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) list as recommended by their Advisory Committee for the treatment of Dravet syndrome. This will be the first time in Australia’s history to see a medicinal cannabis product funded by the PBS.

The move brings the industry a huge step forward to becoming more affordable and accessible to patients around Australia. Even outside of subsidised treatment, we’ve already seen a 15-fold increase in cannabis utilisation over the last two years, according to FreshLeaf Analytics’ H1 2021 report.

Epidyolex is manufactured by UK pharmaceutical company GW Pharmaceuticals and is a cannabidiol (CBD) product for children suffering from rare forms epilepsy, such as Dravet syndrome (DS) and Lennox–Gastaut syndrome (LG), which are resistant to conventional medications. In this case, Epidyolex will be subsidised only for sufferers of Dravet syndrome.

KEY POINTS:

  • Epidyolex is the first epileptic medicinal cannabis product to be subsidised by PBS

  • PBS listing is estimated to benefit 116 patients per year in Australia

  • Patients would usually pay more than A$24,000 a year on Epidyolex

  • They will now pay $41.30 per script or $6.60 with concession card

  • According to FreshLeaf Analytics, patients (of all conditions) spend A$359 on average a month on medicinal cannabis

Cassandra Hunt, Managing Director of CA Clinics

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