Here they are, my first CellCept tablets! There is actually a co-payment of $27.40 per month's dose (these two boxes together) that I have to pay, which is totally reasonable! So much better than $660!
As I suspected, the dose is fairly high, 2,000 mg per day (4 x 500 mg tablets).
My immunologist said they come across this problem quite a lot — immune-suppressant medications not being on the PBS for immune diseases (which you gotta admit sounds ridiculous when you put it like that). Often they're approved for very specific cases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, or to stop organ rejection, but if they're used to treat other rarer conditions they're not covered.
So, he has obtained a permanent authority for me to have access to this drug at the subsidised rate from now on. He thinks there's a good chance that it will help me, and not damage my liver further, but only time will tell. I start tonight, and will need weekly blood tests for a little while to check that all is well, and then monthly blood tests to check how my liver and blood counts are going. It's another one that increases my risk of getting cancer, and I'll have to stay out of sunlight etc. But hopefully I won't get any bad side effects this time!
My vision has deteriorated a little in recent weeks, so I need to stay on the high doses of Prednisolone for a little longer, but can start tapering down once the CellCept is established.