Industry asked to fund Government purchasing

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said tonight he was disappointed by the Government’s decision to reintroduce legislation forcing the pharmaceutical industry to fund the Government’s own Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

Mr Chalmers said the Government’s move to recover the cost of the PBAC’s decisionmaking was inappropriate and would put at risk access to new medicines for small patient-population groups.

“We have consistently argued it is fundamentally inappropriate for the industry to pay for Government procurement decision-making. Our view has not changed one iota over the last three years,” Mr Chalmers said.

“The procurement of pharmaceuticals for the PBS is a government function and it’s unreasonable for industry to be expected to pay for the business of government.

“The proposal put forward by Government risks Australian patients’ access to medicines. It does not improve the expensive and lengthy process for PBS listing of new medicines and it deters innovation and investment in the Australian pharmaceutical industry.

“Frankly, it has no merit.”

Mr Chalmers said cost-recovery was particularly unwelcome at a time when the pharmaceutical industry in Australia was being forced to cut the price of its medicines by a further $175 million as a result of additional savings measures announced in tonight’s Federal Budget.


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