Final Budget Outcome shows another write down for PBS

Today’s release of the 2013-14 Final Budget Outcome shows the Government has yet again spent less than they anticipated on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

“The Final Budget Outcome released today has seen yet another write down in PBS expenditure, a write down of $168 million, just in the four months since the 2014 Federal Budget, and the fifth consecutive time the Government has had to revise its figures downwards,” said Medicines Australia Chairman Dr Martin Cross.

“Following the massive reductions in the 2012, 2013 and 2014 Budgets, it is clear now that the PBS is costing 14%, or a significant $1.7 billion, less than the Government forecast it would in 2011.

“The latest Budget figures add to a growing body of evidence showing the PBS is sustainable, and in fact, the PBS has not grown in real terms for five years.

“The price disclosure reforms agreed between Government and industry continue to pay off for Government, with another un-budgeted $168 million in savings over the past four months alone”, said Dr Cross.

“Let’s not forget in August, the Parliamentary Budget Office forecast growth in PBS spending will slow to 0.3 per cent annually out to 2024-25.”

“And earlier this week, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare reported that total Australian Government health expenditure fell in 2012–13, with the PBS acting as one of the main drivers of that decrease.”

“Over the last 8 years the innovative medicines companies have partnered with governments to reform the PBS, traded the past for the future and created the fiscal head room in the PBS to ensure that our nation can afford to ensure all Australians continue to benefit from rapid, universal access to the latest innovative life changing medicines.”

The following chart shows how every budget forecast since 2010, has overestimated how much will actually be spent in 2013-14, as proven in today’s final budget outcomes.

Source: Federal Budget papers 2011-14, Final Budget Outcome 2013-14.


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Elizabeth de Somer
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