New PBS listing targeting a rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma

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Thousands of Australians with a relapsed and/or refractory mantle cell lymphoma (MCL), a form of non-Hodgkin lymphoma will have access to a new treatment through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) from 1 February.

Lymphomas refer to types of cancer that begin in the lymphatic system and is the sixth most common cancer diagnosed in adults in Australia. In Australia, more than 6,000 people are diagnosed with non-Hodgkin lymphoma each year.

Mantle cell lymphoma is an aggressive, relatively rare type of non-Hodgkin lymphoma.

Calquence blocks a protein in the body that helps cancer cells to grow and may help reduce the number of cancer cells and slow the spread of the cancer.

Health Minister Greg Hunt says more than 350 Australians with MCL accessed a similar treatment through the PBS in 2020.

“The listing of Calquence will provide Australians with an alternate treatment option for this condition,” says Mr Hunt.

“Without PBS subsidy, Australians could pay more than $8,200 per script, instead, they can access it for $42.50 per script or just $6.80 for people with a concession card.”