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Biologics dominate list of costliest drugs

by | Dec 9, 2020

On 01 December NPS Medicine Wise published its annual list of the top 10 PBS drugs by cost to the Australian government. Biologics dominated the list, taking 7 of the top 10 places, including the top 5 positions. The top product aflibercept costs the government $392 million for 315,200 prescriptions, followed by nivolumab ($345 million/51,882 prescriptions), pembrolizumab ($343 million/38,860 prescriptions), adalimumab ($321 million/257,328 prescriptions), denosumab ($244 million/884,413 prescriptions), ranibizumab ($218 million/190,126 prescriptions) and ustekinumab ($211 million/29,603 prescriptions).
All 7 of these biologics featured in the 2018-19 top 10 list, however there are marked increases in the cost of several of the products. In particular, the total prescriptions of nivolumab decreased by approximately 2000 compared to last year, but the cost of the product increased by $77 million. There are currently no biosimilars available in Australia for any of these products.
Naomi Pearce

Naomi Pearce

CEO, Executive Lawyer (AU, NZ), Patent & Trade Mark Attorney (AU, NZ)

Naomi is the founder of Pearce IP, and is one of Australia’s leading IP practitioners.   Naomi is a market leading, strategic, commercially astute, patent lawyer, patent attorney and trade mark attorney, with over 25 years’ experience, and a background in molecular biology/biochemistry.  Ranked in virtually every notable legal directory, highly regarded by peers and clients, with a background in molecular biology, Naomi is renown for her successful and elegant IP/legal strategies.

Among other awards, Naomi is ranked in Chambers, IAM Patent 1000, IAM Strategy 300, is a MIP “Patent Star”, and is recognised as a WIPR Leader for patents and trade marks. Naomi is the 2023 Lawyers Weekly “IP Partner of the Year”, the 2022 Lexology client choice award recipient for Life Sciences, the 2022 Asia Pacific Women in Business Law “Patent Lawyer of the Year” and the 2021 Lawyers Weekly Women in Law SME “Partner of the Year”.  Naomi is the founder of Pearce IP, which commenced in 2017 and won 2021 “IP Team of the Year” at the Australian Law Awards.

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