Vital Parkinson’s treatment added to PBS

Lui Zacher
February 3, 2023 / 4:12 am

thumbnail L Coker John and Faye Gray

A new medicine, which local Parkinson’s sufferers use, has been added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), saving those with the debilitating disease nearly $2,000 a year.

Without subsidies, locals like John Gray would pay $150 a month for Opicapone, which is now subsidised costing just $30 per script, or $7.30 with a concession card.

Corangamite MP Libby Coker visited Mr Gray and his wife Faye, to discuss the benefits of access to the new medicine.

Ms. Faye Gray said the medication is a cheap, but life-changing medication

“Including Opicapone on the PBS is amazing. My husband will now be able to use Opicapone as an adjunct to his daily medication – it will enhance his quality of life, without adding significantly to our medical costs.”

Ms. Coker said the medicine was just one of 65 additions to the PBS, part of a promise made by Prime Minister Anthony Albanese before the election.

“We delivered on our election commitment to cut the cost of medications for millions of Australians by reducing the PBS co-payment to a maximum of $30 per script.”

“This was the biggest cut to the price of medicines in the 75-year history of the PBS. “It will greatly help reduce the cost-of-living expenses for people with Parkinson’s’ in our region.”

Federal Health Minister Mark Butler said the medication is vital. 

“Parkinson’s disease onset is generally gradual and early symptoms can be unnoticed but as people living with this disease would be all too aware it causes significant disability and reduces the quality of life for the patient, their family, and carers.”

“Opicapone provides an additional treatment option for those living with Parkinson’s disease.”



Image: Corangamite MP Libby Coker, John Gray and Faye Gray