Health department has no plans to find replacement hormone for trans men

The federal Health Department has no capacity to seek out a replacement hormone treatment for transgender men after popular drug Primoteston was removed from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The Department of Health, through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), previously announced that from February 1st they will no longer subsidise Primoteston, the most common form of medical transition available for transgender men and non-binary people assigned female at birth.

Speaking at a Senate Estimates Hearing Penny Shakespeare from the Department of Health answered a series of questions from The Greens Senator Janet Rice about the removal of the medication from the scheme.

Shakespeare confirmed that the medication had been removed from the scheme at the manufacturers request.

Senator Rice asked if the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) would proactively seek out a similar medication to be added to the PBS to replace Primoteston.

“Any company that wishes to bring forward another brand, or a new medicine to treat a condition can apply at any time to do so.” Shakespeare said.

The Health department official said it was not their role to encourage brands to leave their products on the PBS if they wished to remove them.

Senator Rice asked if the department would encourage or facilitate a replacement medication being added to the PBS.

Shakespeare said people who wanted to use Primoteston may still be able to buy it privately at the non-subsidised price, but it was up to manufacturers to approach the government about listing their medications of the PBS scheme.

Graeme Watson

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