Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) subsidises dasatinib, imatinib mesylate and ponatinib for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Imatinib mesylate

Imatinib mesylate is available as PBS subsidised therapy for induction or consolidation of a newly diagnosed patient with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). It can be used in combination with chemotherapy for patients bearing the Philadelphia chromosome or expressing the transcript BCR-ABL.

Authority to supply imatinib mesylate to eligible patients through the PBS is provided under the Section 85 arrangements of the National Health Act 1953.

Restriction details

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits on the PBS website outlines restrictions for prescribing imatinib mesylate to patients.

Continuing treatment

Patients can be reimbursed through the PBS for a lifetime maximum of 24 months of continuing treatment with imatinib mesylate.

Patient eligibility

Patients must meet the relevant criteria as indicated in the restrictions and be eligible for the PBS.

Pathology reports

For all applications, you need to provide a pathology report confirming eligibility for treatment.

Dasatinib

Dasatinib, as monotherapy, is available as PBS subsidised therapy for a patient with ALL. The patient must express the Philadelphia chromosome or the transcript BCR-ABL and have failed treatment with:

  • chemotherapy and imatinib mesylate, and
  • allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation

Authority to supply dasatinib to eligible patients through the PBS is provided under the Section 85 arrangements of the National Health Act 1953.

Restriction details

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits outlines the restrictions for prescribing dasatinib to patients.

Patient eligibility

Patients must meet the relevant criteria as indicated in the restrictions and be eligible for the PBS.

All initial applications must include:

  • a pathology report confirming the patient has active disease, and
  • supporting pathology to demonstrate an adequate trial of chemotherapy and imatinib mesylate has failed

Continuing treatment

Patients can receive PBS subsidised continuing treatment with dasatinib where they have previously been issued with an authority prescription for this condition and don’t have progressive disease.

Ponatinib

Ponatinib, as monotherapy, is available as PBS subsidised therapy to treat relapsed or refractory Philadelphia chromosome positive (Ph+) ALL in patients with the T315i mutation.

Patients must have failed treatment with:

  • chemotherapy, with or without another tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI), and
  • allogeneic hemopoietic stem cell transplantation, where appropriate

Authority to supply ponatinib to eligible patients through the PBS is provided under the Section 85 arrangements of the National Health Act 1953.

Restriction details

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits on the PBS website outlines restrictions for prescribing ponatinib to patients.

Patient eligibility

Patients must meet the relevant criteria as indicated in the restrictions and be eligible for the PBS.

Pathology reports

All applicable pathology reports must be provided and should be less than 6 months old.

For initial applications you need to submit:

  • a pathology report confirming the patient has active disease, and
  • evidence of the T315i mutation

Continuing treatment

Patients can receive PBS subsidised continued treatment with ponatinib where they have previously been issued with an authority prescription for this condition and do not have progressive disease.

Lodging an application

Applications for initial authority approvals must be in writing. Requests for continuing prescriptions can be submitted in writing or by phone to the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Make sure all written applications for authorisation include:

  • a completed authority prescription form
  • relevant pathology reports to support current criteria

and the relevant form with signed patient and prescriber acknowledgements:

Further information

For more information contact us on the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Page last updated: 8 November 2016

This information was printed Wednesday 7 December 2016 from humanservices.gov.au/health-professionals/enablers/acute-lymphoblastic-leukaemia It may not include all of the relevant information on this topic. Please consider any relevant site notices at humanservices.gov.au/siteinformation when using this material.