Australia’s pharmaceutical industry signs historic agreement with Commonwealth Government

Medicines Australia member companies today signed a historic agreement with the Commonwealth Government that will ensure a stable environment for business and continued access to new medicines for all Australians.

The agreement delivers savings to taxpayers of $1.9 billion over five years. It carries a Government commitment that pharmaceutical companies will not be asked to bear any further price-related savings measures before 30 June 2014.

The agreement also introduces some important regulatory reforms to improve patients’ access to innovative new medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the savings will enable the Government to redirect funding to its substantial healthcare reforms.

“For the first time in the history of the PBS we have a written agreement that provides government with fiscal certainty,” Dr Shaw said.

“We have always argued that the PBS is the most cost-effective part of the health system and is under control, but we recognise the Government’s policy objective of once-in-a-generation healthcare reform.

“This is a pragmatic and responsible response to an extraordinary convergence of circumstances.

“It is an agreement for the times which brings genuine benefit to all parties and is consistent with the direction of the PBS reforms announced in 2007. It’s good news for the Government, the pharmaceutical industry and Australian patients.

“Importantly, the agreement provides the pharmaceutical industry with business certainty and a predictable PBS policy environment.

“The savings measures will impose a significant burden on Australian pharmaceutical companies, but longer-term business certainty for the industry is paramount.

“Pharmaceutical companies can only invest the large sums needed to bring innovative new medicines to market if they have a stable and reliable reimbursement environment.

“Patients can have confidence that manufacturers will continue to deliver innovative new medicines to this market.

“This agreement provides a framework for investment in the PBS for the next four years.”


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