Medication Updates

May 2020

Rinvoq® (upadacitinib) added to the PBS

Breakthrough new medicine listing on the PBS for rheumatoid arthritis from 1 May.

Australians with rheumatoid arthritis will benefit from the listing of Rinvoq® (upadacitinib) to the PBS. Patients might otherwise pay more than $16,000 per year for Rinvoq but with the PBS subsidy will only pay $41 or $6.60 with a concession card. Rinvoq® will be a new treatment option for people with severe rheumatoid arthritis providing them with more choice in how they manage this painful condition. Around 5,000 patients per year already access a comparable treatment, and may benefit from this new treatment option.

Read more here.


TGA to permit conditional substitution to ease serious shortages

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is implementing changes to allow community pharmacists to substitute specific medicines without prior approval from the prescribing doctor in certain situations where a medicine is unavailable at the time of dispensing.

These changes will relieve pressure on doctors and allow patients to receive their medicines from their pharmacist without delay.

The changes will allow a pharmacist to dispense different strengths of a product (such as two 20 mg tablets in place of a 40 mg tablet) or a different dose form of the same medicine (such as a capsule instead of a tablet). It will also allow a medicine that is prescribed as an extended/sustained release medicine to be substituted for an immediate release medicine, or vice versa. Substitution of a medicine with another product containing a different active ingredient is not considered.

Read more here.


Arthritis NSW – we’re here to help

We’re here to help whenever you need us. We have a variety of options available for support and information.