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  1. Xofigo (radium 223) is a radioactive material that specifically targets bone metastases from prostate cancer. Xofigo (radium 223) is administered intravenously in hospital and is regarded as a medical service. This means that the application for it to be publicly funded must be made to the Medical Services Advisory Committee. The applications for new cancer drugs to be publicly funded are made to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee. According to Bayer, the manufacturer of Xofigo (radium 223), the policies that apply to listing on the Medical Benefits Schedule are different from the policies that apply to listing on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme. April 2014 Recommendation that Xofigo be listed on the Medical Benefits Schedule. It has been more than 2 years since the Medical Services Advisory Committee recommended that Xofigo (radium 223) be listed on the Medical Benefits Schedule. Bayer disagreed with the proposed pricing arrangements that the Medical Services Advisory Committee recommended. What's happening now? Unfortunately, nothing. There appears to be a stalemate. A fellow Victorian sufferer with advanced prostate cancer has shared with me the copy of a recent letter that he has received from Bayer.
  2. Paul Edwards

    Xofigo (Radium 223) - Getting there

    At its April 2014 meeting the Medical Services Advisory Committee considered an application by Bayer to list Xofigo (radium 223) on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. Xofigo (radium 223) is a new drug which significantly increases life expectancy and quality of life for men with castration-resistant prostate cancer who have bone metastases. The advice to the Health Minister from the Medical Services Advisory Committee has now been made public. The good news is that the Medical Services Advisory Committee has recommended that Xofigo be supported for public funding and listed on the Medicare Benefits Schedule. However, the price for Xofigo recommended by the Medical Services Advisory Committee was not acceptable to Bayer. It's not uncommon for the Government to reject the initial price claimed by a drug company or for a drug company to reject the inital price offered by the Government Bayer is continuing to negotiate the price of the drug with the Government. Bayer said that it "hopes to resolve the outstanding issues...... and to provide Australian patients with access to the drug in a timely manner".
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