Government congratulated on new Cabinet threshold

The announcement by the Abbott Government today that it has confirmed a new threshold for Cabinet approval of new medicines being listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is a welcome development.

Since 2001, medicines that were expected to cost more than $10 million in any one of the four years of the forward estimates were required to be approved by Federal Cabinet before they could be listed on the PBS.

The Government has announced that from today this threshold has increased to $20 million. This means that medicines expected to cost less than $20 million in any of the four years of the forward estimates will not require Cabinet approval. Instead, they will be listed promptly by the Health Minister.

“This is a welcome improvement to the PBS process,” said Dr Brendan Shaw, Medicines Australia Chief Executive.

“This is a policy change the industry has been advocating for a number of years, so to see it implemented today is appreciated.

“It is a common sense administrative change that improves the PBS listing process.

“Peter Dutton announced this as a Coalition election commitment and we congratulate him on delivering on that commitment in Government now as Health Minister.

“This improvement in the process should reduce the time for listing for some medicines on the PBS.

“This is good news for companies who’ll benefit from greater predictability, good news for government who’ll have more efficient processes, and, ultimately, good news for patients who’ll get access to new medicines sooner.

“Medicines Australia and its member companies are keen to work with the new Government to help deliver on its election commitments and ensure a predictable policy environment that provides medicines to Australians in the future.

“Together with the new PBS listings announced earlier this week, this announcement shows the Government understands the importance of a predictable policy approach to the PBS,” Dr Shaw said.


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Alex Chapman
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