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Lyrica not on the PBS in Australia
9 Replies
lacey - May 16

well having been on lyrica for 3 months now, I found out today that Lyrica is not on the PBS (whatever that is) so I have to pay full price at the Chemist.

So where do I go from here? Well Lyrica hasn't helped that much anyway. I still have to take anti-inflammatories to help with the pain sometimes and this is after the doctor increased my dosage to triple what I was on last week.

Anyway I won't and can't pay $112 every 18 days. It would send us broke.


Fantod - May 16

Lacey - Talk to the doctor about "Milnacipran" which is available in the UK. Don't stop taking Lyrica without talking to him first. You may have to be weaned off of it. Take care.


Fantod - May 16

lacey - Here is the info on "PBS."

Through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), the Australian Government makes a range of necessary prescription medicines available at affordable prices to all Australian residents and those overseas visitors eligible under Reciprocal Health Care Agreements.

Australian residents and visitors from countries with Reciprocal Health Care Agreements with Australia are entitled to subsidised medicines under the PBS. Some clients Centrelink and the Department of Veterans' Affairs are entitled to a further reduced concessional rate. PBS Safety Net provides financial assistance to individuals and families who use a lot of medicines in a calendar year.


lacey - May 16

Hi Fantod, yep went to the chemist to get my tablets yesterday and that's what they told me.

I will ask her about those tablets you mentioned but it's just a pity she did't tell me before she started my on them. At that rate it would cost me over $5000 a year and as we can't afford medical ins, it's just not on.

I will talk to her.


January - May 16

You might ask for an older medication with codeine or a narcotic in it, and keep it very low dose - cut the tablets up and just take what you need. They should be covered by insurance and much more affordable - and if you can tolerate them, they are generally more effective at pain relief than the antidepressants or anticonvulsants. Sometimes you have to switch from one type of drug to another until you find one your body tolerates well.

There are some studies online - I think at pro health has some - that show Lyrica only helped 40% of those taking it, but specific pain relief drugs like narcotics helped 50-60%. Seems to be the consensus on the forums too. But… whatever works. As you say you had to triple your Lyrica dose, that might not be the right drug for you.

Minacipran is Savella - so if they won't pay for Lyrica, they might not cover Savella either. Don't know.

Good luck with it - whichever way it goes.


Fantod - May 17

Milnacipran has been available in Europe and the UK for years. It is pretty likely that it is covered. It is just new to us in the USA.


KateBeth - May 28

A shot in the dark question maybe, but have you tried Gabapentin? Its easier to get covered so I'd check, and although it isn't a fix-all, it's one of the few things that's helped me to where I can at least go to work.


bigted - May 31

If isn't covered in Canada either. I don't get it to be honest I have to be well enough to work if they want to tax me. They would make more from if they paid for the medication.


lucky13 - July 13

I would suggest finding out what antidepressants are covered or are cheaper. I take Celexa (the generic form of it anyway) and it is helping, but it can take up to 6wks to see the results from taking an antidrpressant.
Remeber antidepressants aren't pain releavers, antidepressants treat the condition of FMS, not the symptom (pain), so once you find a med to help treat the condition, the symptoms will lesson.


LindaM - February 29

My Rheumatologist prescribed Endep 1 x 10mg tablet per day (at night), in June 2011 and I have been virtually painfree, ever since!! As "lucky13" said, "treat the condition and the pain will lessen"!



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