New PBS listing will improve quality of life for people with type 2 diabetes 15 August 2016 *New PBS listing will improve quality of life for people with type 2 diabetes * Diabetes Australia welcomed the Minister for Health Sussan Ley’s announcement of the Federal Government’s decision to list diabetes drug Bydureon on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and said the move would improve quality of life for many people with type 2 diabetes. Bydureon is a once-a-week injection to treat type 2 diabetes and is used in combination with other oral diabetes medicines. Diabetes Australia CEO A/Professor Greg Johnson said the PBS listing of Bydureon was great news for people living with type 2 diabetes, making the treatment more affordable. “This once-a-week injection using an injection pen is a great step forward for many people,” A/Professor Johnson said. “The injection pen is much easier to use, and has less intrusion on the day-to-day lives of people with diabetes. “It surprises some people to learn that the progressive nature of type 2 diabetes means many people with type 2 diabetes need injectable drugs when the oral treatments don’t work sufficiently. “There are about 250,000 Australians with type 2 diabetes currently using insulin and other injections, and for many people this means multiple injections every day. “For many, this once-a-week injection form is ideal and it’s now affordable with the PBS listing.” Bydureon is the brand name for exenatide and is the first version of the drug available in Australia as a once-a-week injection. Other forms of exenatide currently available require much more regular injections. Exenatide helps treat type 2 diabetes by stimulating the release of insulin in the body which lowers blood glucose levels. A/Professor Johnson said the listing supported the Federal Government’s national diabetes strategy. “This new PBS listing is line with the Australian National Diabetes Strategy 2016-2020 released by the Government last year which included recommended action to improve affordable access to diabetes medicines.” “Ensuring people can access new medicines and in new forms helps them manage their diabetes, improve their health and reduces the likelihood of costly and debilitating diabetes-related complications including preventable blindness and amputation” he said. A/Professor Johnson remarked that the discovery of exenatide was another example of the unpredictable path of diabetes research and modern medicine. “Rather than being an entirely new substance, exenatide is a synthetic form of a substance found in the saliva of a lizard – the Gila Monster, native to the south western USA and parts of Mexico,” he said. “This goes to show that some medical solutions can be found in the most unlikely places.” Note: Bydureon is only suitable for treating people with type 2 diabetes. It cannot be used to treat people with type 1 diabetes.