Australian Government spending on health driven down thanks to PBS

A new report released today shows the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is proving a key driver to reducing overall Government spending on health.

Medicines Australia, CEO, Tim James welcomed the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report Health Expenditure Australia 2012-13: analysis by sector.

“It’s no surprise that the PBS is one of the main drivers of efficiency in the health system. Even back in September the AIHW reported that total Australian Government health expenditure fell in 2012–13, with the PBS acting as one of the main drivers of that decrease,” Mr James said.

“Today’s AIHW report reconfirms that the PBS is a star performer at keeping health spending under control. It’s clearly sustainable, to the point it is having an impact on the wider health system, and so there’s no need for further savings measures in the future.”

The report also noted wider health spending growth is at its slowest since the 1980s, slowing to record levels, and now three times lower than the average growth over the last decade (5.1 per cent). Total spending on health goods and services in Australia was estimated at $147.4 billion in 2012-13 (9.67% of GDP).

In 2012-13, governments funded $100.8 billion of total health expenditure in Australia. This was 1.6 percentage points lower than the previous financial year, the largest reduction of the decade.

“For many years the innovative medicines companies have partnered with governments to reform the PBS. This partnership has created the fiscal head room in the PBS to ensure that Australian patients can continue to afford universal access to the latest innovative life changing medicines in a timely manner,” Mr James said.

“The upcoming Intergenerational Report in 2015 will no doubt highlight Australia’s growing and aging population, and how these factors will put pressure on the affordability of the PBS and wider health system.

“This latest report proves that the medicines industry has already secured a sustainable PBS so that our growing and aging population can live longer, healthier and more productive lives, at a cost the Government can continue to afford.”


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