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Breakthrough Asthma Treatments To Get PBS Listing

The new drugs will hopefully ease symptoms for thousands of Aussies.

18/12/2016 10:12 AM AEDT | Updated 18/12/2016 10:43 AM AEDT
Westend61
Thousands of Aussies will have access to cheaper asthma medication from 2017.

A medication that costs taxpayers $700 a year will be slashed to about $6 a script in a move the federal government hopes will assist thousands of severe asthma sufferers.

Health Minister Sussan Ley is expected to announce the multi-million dollar measure that will see anti-asthma drugs listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, assisting those who can't treat their symptoms with a puffer, Macquarie Radio reports.

The change will reportedly cost taxpayers $103.1 million over four years. It will impact about 26,000 patients initially. This number is predicted to lift to about 67,000 by 2020, News Corp Australia reports.

The federal government reportedly said it was able to invest in the treatments after working to secure better deals with drug companies.

Last month, eight people died following Melbourne's so-called thunderstorm asthma event, which caused an outbreak of severe breathing difficulties across the city.

The freak weather event sparked 1900 calls to emergency services which Ambulance Victoria said was six-times the normal rate, while an additional 60 ambulances were put on to keep up with demand.

There were at least 8500 people treated due to the thunderstorm, with many experiencing breathing problems.

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