Home Forums Melanoma Diagnosis: Stage IV Australia gets Yervoy Approval

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    Catherine Poole

    YERVOY will be reimbursed in Australia for eligible patients from 1 August 2013.

    The approved indication is as follows:

    YERVOY will be reimbursed on the PBS as monotherapy for unresectable Stage III or Stage IV malignant melanoma at a maximum dose of 3 mg per kg every 3 weeks for a total of 4 doses for:

    a. induction treatment (no prior YERVOY treatment)

    b. re-induction treatment for patients who have progressive disease after achieving an initial objective response to the most recent course of YERVOY prior to or following 1 August 2013

    c. completion of induction or re-induction treatment for patients whose treatment on YERVOY commenced prior to 1 August 2013 (“grandfathered” patients).

    Reimbursement on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) means that eligible patients will pay $36.10 or $5.90 (concessional rate) for each infusion. As you know, the recommended course of YERVOY treatment is four infusions so a patient would pay $144.40 for the full recommended course (or $23.60 at the concessional rate).


    Hi Catherine.

    Do you think that Yervoy is an option for someone who has been on Zelboraf where disease is stable – not progressing- not shrinking. Can I ask for it and remain on Zelboraf or do I need to have a particular break period in between the two? Or should I just forget the Yervoy for now and remain on the Zelboraf since I have had no disease progression since being on the Zelboraf…


    Queensland, Australia.

    Catherine Poole

    Hi Belinda,

    I think we discussed on the forum that combining these two, zelboraf and yervoy, may not be a good idea. A trial conducted with the two had to stop due to liver toxicity. I would discuss with your doctor and see what he/she thinks about this combination or stopping one for the other.

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