Type 2 medicine now available and reimbursed by PBS

Wednesday, 1 July 2020

Novo Nordisk announced today that Ozempic®, a new once-weekly blood glucose lowering medicine, is now available and reimbursed by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for the treatment of people with uncontrolled type 2 diabetes.

Diabetes Australia acknowledges this is a very important time for people living with type 2 diabetes to continue to work with their diabetes healthcare team, especially as they may have had fewer visits to their doctor, or routine pathology checks during lockdown:

Greg Johnson, CEO Diabetes Australia, said “The COVID-19 pandemic has been a difficult time for people living with diabetes who have had concerns about the increased risks related to COVID-19 and consequently reduced their access to the primary care system, pathology tests, other health checks and hospital based services.

It is now more important than ever for people living with type 2 diabetes to talk to their doctor and diabetes healthcare team about their diabetes management. Maintaining blood glucose levels in a target range is very difficult for many people with type 2 diabetes and a new PBS reimbursed therapy option for people with type 2 diabetes is very welcome at this time,” said Mr Johnson.

Type 2 diabetes is one of the fastest growing chronic conditions in Australia, affecting an estimated 1.1 million people. Uncontrolled blood sugar levels increase the risk of type 2 diabetes complications such as kidney disease, blindness and retinopathy, limb amputations and cardiovascular disease. However, less than 50% of those Australian’s diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and receiving treatment, meet their blood sugar level target, putting them at increased risk of these complications.

The launch and reimbursement of Ozempic® follows extensive clinical research conducted globally, with 400 of the global patients enrolled in Australia as part of Novo Nordisk’s extensive and ongoing clinical research programmes in Australia.

Ozempic® is from a class of glucose-lowering medicines (GLP-1-RAs) that have been recommended by the Australian Diabetes Society (ADS) and international guidelines, for early use after metformin to help people living with type 2 diabetes to achieve their blood sugar targets and manage their cardiovascular risk factors including weight and blood pressure.

Associate Professor Neale Cohen, said, “It is essential that there are no further delays in addressing the rising rates of uncontrolled blood sugar levels in people living with type 2 diabetes in Australia. The availability of a new reimbursed once weekly GLP-1 RA, Ozempic®, is an opportunity to further help improve our management of people living with type 2 diabetes and reduce the risk of serious, life-threatening complications for thousands of Australians.”

Jeppe Theisen, Vice President and Managing Director Novo Nordisk Oceania said,  “The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the scale of the problem of chronic diseases like diabetes, and the urgent need for a renewed commitment to tackle them and avoid complications. Our purpose to drive change to defeat diabetes is necessary now more than ever.

At Novo Nordisk, we aim to redefine success in diabetes management and believe targeting uncontrolled blood sugar levels and cardiovascular risk factors including weight and blood pressure is a step forward. The availability of Ozempic®, reimbursed by the PBS, reinforces our commitment to continuing to address the growing impact of diabetes with ongoing innovation.”

For more information, visit novonordisk.com

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