Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia

The PBS subsidises blinatumomab, dasatinib, imatinib mesilate and ponatinib for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL).

Treatment with blinatumomab can be subsidised through the PBS under the National Health Act 1953, Efficient Funding of Chemotherapy – Section 100 Arrangements, for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Treatment with dasatinib, imatinib mesilate and ponatinib can be subsidised through the PBS under section 85 of the National Health Act 1953 for patients with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

Patient eligibility

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

The Schedule of Pharmaceutical Benefits on the PBS website outlines restrictions for prescribing blinatumomab, dasatinib, imatinib mesilate and ponatinib.

Blinatumomab applications

Initial (Induction) treatment

Make all initial applications for authority approval to prescribe blinatumomab for the treatment of ALL in writing and:

All applications must include a completed:

Applications for balance of supply may be made by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Program enquiry line.

Patients must not receive more than 2 treatment cycles under the Initial (Induction) and Induction – balance of supply treatment restrictions.

Initial grandfather treatment

For patients who received non PBS subsidised blinatumomab treatment for ALL before 1 May 2017, make all initial grandfather applications in writing and:

All applications must include a completed:

A patient may qualify for PBS subsidised blintumomab under the grandfather restriction once only.

If a patient has received one induction treatment cycle prior to 1 May 2017, this authority application form may be used for the remaining induction treatment cycle. After a written authority application has been approved, an application for consolidation treatment can be made by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

If a patient has received 2 induction treatment cycles or at least 1 consolidation treatment cycle(s) prior to 1 May 2017 and has achieved a complete remission or a complete remission with partial haematological recovery, this authority application form may be used for the remaining consolidation treatment cycles, up to a maximum of 3 treatment cycles in a lifetime.

Continuing (Consolidation) treatment

To be eligible for continuing (consolidation) treatment, the patient must have achieved a complete remission, or a complete remission with partial haematological recovery. The treatment must not be more than 3 treatment cycles under the restriction in a lifetime.

After an initial (induction) written authority application has been approved, an application for consolidation treatment for patients who demonstrate response can be made by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Dasatinib applications

Initial treatment

Make all initial applications for authority approval to prescribe dasatinib for the treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in writing and:

All applications must include a completed:

Continuing treatment

After an initial written authority application has been approved, an application for continuing treatment for patients who do not have progressive disease can be made by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Imatinib mesilate applications

Initial treatment

Make all initial applications for authority approval to prescribe imatinib mesilate for the treatment of ALL in writing and:

All applications must include a completed:

Continuing treatment

Imatinib mesilate is available for a lifetime maximum of 24 months of PBS subsidised continuing treatment for ALL.

After an initial written authority application has been approved, an application for continuing treatment can be made by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Ponatinib applications

Initial treatment

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.

Make all initial applications for authority approval to prescribe ponatinib for the treatment of ALL in writing and:

All applications must include a completed:

Continuing treatment - ponatinib

After an initial written authority application has been approved, an application for continuing treatment for patients who do not have progressive disease can be made by calling the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Further information

For more information call the PBS Complex Drugs Programs enquiry line.

Page last updated: 27 August 2017