Home' Australian Pharmacist : Australian Pharmacist December 2013 Contents 80
Australian Pharmacist December 2013 I ©Pharmaceutical Society of Australia Ltd.
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From December 1,
a pressured metered
dose inhaler (pMDI)
be available via the
Scheme (PBS) in addition
to the established Turbuhaler® range.
Now, patients with a preference for a
puffer can have access to the benefits
of Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever
Therapy (SMARTTM), including the ability
to manage asthma with one inhaler.
Available in three strengths equivalent
to Symbicort Turbuhaler, Symbicort
Rapihaler 50/3, 100/3 will be reimbursed,
for patients 12 years and over, for
Symbicort Maintenance and Reliever
Therapy (SMARTTM) and fixed dose
asthma maintenance, with the Symbicort
Rapihaler 200/6 reimbursed for COPD and
fixed dose asthma maintenance.
The Symbicort Rapihaler range is
conveniently colour coded across the
three dosage strengths and matched
to the equivalent Turbuhaler pack.
Each Symbicort Rapihaler contains
120 actuations of medication and
the PBS reimbursed quantity per
script is 240 actuations (2 packs x 120
actuations). To ensure dose uniformity
the recommended actuations per dose
of Symbicort Rapihaler is 2 puffs, so at half
the strength of the Turbuhaler pack it will
deliver the same total daily dose. (www.
a medication from
a novel class of
therapy for heart
failure shown to
significantly reduce the risk of cardiovascular
death and hospitalisation due to worsening
heart failure was PBS listed on 1 December.
The selective sinus node inhibitor Coralan
will be reimbursed for the treatment of
symptomatic moderate to severe chronic
heart failure in patients with a resting heart
rate of 77 beats per minute (bpm) or more.
The SHIFT study* found that the addition
of Coralan to standard therapy reduced the
composite relative risk of cardiovascular
death or hospitalisation for worsening
heart failure by 25 % (19% and 31%
respectively) in those with a heart rate of
>77 bpm. Furthermore, the relative risk of
all‐cause death or death from heart failure
was significantly reduced by 19% and 39%
respectively. A sub‐analysis of the SHIFT
study found that Coralan also significantly
improved health‐related quality of life,
which is often greatly impaired in patients
with chronic heart failure.It is estimated that
around 300,000 Australians are living with
chronic heart failure and that approximately
28,000 of these patients will be eligible for
treatment with Coralan through the PBS.
*Swedberg K, Komajda M, et al. Ivabradine and
outcomes in chronic heart failure (SHIFT ): a randomized
placebo-controlled study. Lancet 2010;376:875–85.
An Australian drug discovery, Bronchitol,
(mannitol) was listed on the Pharmaceutical
Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment
of cystic fibrosis (CF) on 1 November.
Bronchitol (mannitol) is a dry powder
delivered to the lungs through a portable
inhaler, which clinical trials have shown
can improve lung function in patients with
cystic fibrosis. The PBS listing removes a
requirement for patients to show a 10%
increase in a measurement of lung function
in order to continue having their treatment
subsidised. The ‘10% Increase Rule’ have
been be replaced with a new set of criteria
which allows patients and their clinical
team greater flexibility in deciding on
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