Cost of medicines continues to fall
A report released yesterday shows Australian patients continue to pay less for medicines, due to a strong rise in the number of prescriptions costing less than the PBS co-payment.
Medicines Australia CEO, Tim James, welcomed the PBS Expenditure and Prescriptions Twelve Months to 30 June 2014 report, which confirms that the cost to fill a script is dropping for both patients and the Australian Government.
“More and more medicines continue to drop below the $36.90 general PBS co-payment, from 62 million to 72.3 million scripts over the period, growth of 16 per cent,” Mr James said.
“These figures confirm what Medicines Australia has been saying for a long time – the impact of price disclosure reforms means that Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme expenditure is not only currently stable but also sustainable over time.
“What this report also shows is that the average dispensed price per prescription decreased to $42.20 in 2013-14, a fall of close to 3% over the previous year, which means consumers are paying less for their medicines.
“The average government cost of these scripts is $34.83 for the same period, also a drop of 3%.
“The important thing now is to ensure PBS policies and processes allow companies to bring new and important medicines to the Australian community in a timely manner.”
The total PBS expenditure was also confirmed to have only risen by $152 million to $9.149 billion – an increase well below the rate of inflation, and mostly due to a 6.3% rise in total script volumes.
“The tough price disclosure reforms the medicines industry developed and agreed with government over the past eight years are paying off, with massive ongoing savings for taxpayers and consumers,” Mr James said.
“We will continue to work closely with government to ensure Australians have access to affordable and life-saving medicines now and into the future.”
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