Government U-turn: Coalition mends broken promise with 54 new drugs funded

In a major U-turn, the Coalition Government has announced it will not only fulfil its promise of funding 13 cancer drugs but extend the funding to an additional 41 medicines.

However, not all of the treatments will be available as soon as cancer patients hoped.

Health Minister Dr Shane Reti and Associate Health Minister David Seymour announced on Monday the Government will spend $604 million to fund 54 new medicines – made up of 26 cancer drugs and 28 other treatments.

“Today we are delivering on the therapies we promised and more, with an unprecedented and transformative investment in cancer and other treatments,” Dr Reti said.

“This will be a mix of new medicines and widened access to medicines that are already available.”

The additional cancer treatments announced today have not been named, however, the Government said it includes medicines for blood cancers and other tumours. The other treatments could cover infections, respiratory conditions, osteoporosis, sexual health, dermatology, inflammatory conditions, and mental health.

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