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Currently the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme provides that Abiraterone (Brand name Zytiga) must be taken with prednisone or prednisolone. At its March 2017 meeting the PBAC approved an application that whilst Abiraterone must be taken with a corticosteroid, the corticosteroid does not necessarily have to be prednisone or prednisolone. Patients and their doctors are now able to choose the corticosteroid that they use with Abiraterone. There has been evidence that corticosteroids other than prednisone or prednisolone may have less side effects or greater benefits.
Last Friday 10 March 2017 the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) reached its initial decisions on drugs to go onto the PBS at reduced prices. This included whether to put Xtandi (Enzalutamide) before chemo on the PBS. The company will be told of the result next Friday 17 March 2017. If necessary, negotiations between the PBAC and the company continue for 4 weeks. The final results will be published on the PBAC website 21 April 2017. (If the company is not happy with the result, they have until July 2017 to appeal.)