Generics proposals don’t add up to PBS savings

25 February 2013: Proposals for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme to preference generic medicines over originator brands is not supported by evidence that the Government would realise any savings, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said today.

Dr Shaw said: “Policy makers should consider any proposed changes to the PBS and their costings with great care, as history shows that ad hoc, piecemeal changes to the PBS have ended up being bad for industry, government and patients.

“There is nothing new here. Many of the proposals being advanced today have been around for years, have been considered and have been rejected on good policy grounds.

“Proposals to privilege one group of manufacturers at the expense of another group of manufacturers would distort the medicines market, would undermine the principles of the PBS, would limit doctor and patient choice, and would likely not drive any savings for the Government.

“The hard evidence shows that the current price disclosure system for the PBS, developed by current and former governments, in partnership with the industry, has reduced the price the Government pays for generic medicines and their branded equivalents by as much as 80 per cent.

“If we need a policy discussion on future management of the PBS, then consultation and consideration will better serve that discussion.”

Medicines Australia represents more than 50 companies that supply the majority of the medicines that are available to Australian patients through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.


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