IGR confirms the sustainability of the PBS into the future

The release of the highly anticipated 2015 Intergenerational Report (IGR) today reaffirmed the growing body of evidence that shows that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is sustainable.

CEO of Medicines Australia, Tim James, welcomed the release of the Australian Government’s 2015 IGR, and its acknowledgement that growth in pharmaceutical expenditure will remain stable, growing only modestly to 2027-28.

“Medicines are central to achieving better health outcomes for the population. The flow on effects are increased participation and productivity, by people returning to work earlier and using medicines to avoid more costly and invasive treatments later on,” Mr James said.

The IGR showed that expenditure on pharmaceuticals is expected to grow from $420 per person in 2014-15 to $474 per person in 2027-28 (in today’s dollars).

“This is a major downward revision from the 2010 IGR.”

The IGR showed that the overall health budget is expected to grow from 4.2% in 2014-15 to 5.5% of GDP in 2054-55.  The report finds that Medicare services are projected to be the fastest growing component of health expenditure to 2027-28.

“The 2015 Intergenerational Report joins a growing body of evidence that demonstrates the sustainability of the expenditure on medicines through the PBS,” Mr James said.

“The 2015 IGR supports the fact that successive reforms to the PBS have put the PBS on a stable footing, by showing that strong growth of the PBS predicated in previous IGRs will not eventuate.

“It is not surprising that population, participation and productivity are central to this report, and it is clear that medicines are fundamental to all of these drivers. Medicines are an essential enabler of health, and wealth, for individuals, communities and the nation.

“The report shows that Australians will continue to live longer due to advancements in health care and rising living standards. Medicines will be fundamental to ensuring that people can remain productive in the workforce well into their twilight years.

“As the Australian population ages it is imperative that universal access to innovative medicines remains available to keep people productive, healthy and independent.”

Mr James also welcomed the explicit acknowledgement that new medicines and other biotechnology has the potential to provide further dramatic improvements in life expectancy.

“What we need now is the government to ensure a stable policy environment for the pharmaceutical industry and to ensure Australian patients receive early access to medicines.”


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