Latest price cuts add to PBS savings

Thirteen medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, accounting for more than 200 brands, will take price cuts of between 11 and 77 per cent from 1 August as part of the ongoing price disclosure system agreed between Medicines Australia and the Government.

These new savings to the PBS were confirmed by the Australian Government today and are in addition to the $1.9 billion in PBS savings agreed in a Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Government.

The latest price cuts come on top of the 74 medicines that took price cuts on 1 April in what was the single largest round of price reductions in the history of the PBS.

The price of anti-nausea medicine ondansetron will be reduced by 77 per cent. Cancer treatment oxalyplatin will take a 51 per cent price cut.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the latest price cuts were further evidence that reforms to the PBS agreed between the medicines industry and the Government were working as intended.

“Yet again we’re seeing price disclosure putting downward pressure on the price of medicines and containing PBS expenditure,” Dr Shaw said.

“We have historically low spending on the PBS at the moment. We’ve just had the most substantial round of price cuts in PBS history.

“There are further price cuts confirmed today and more to come in the future as more medicines go off-patent and become subject to price disclosure. We expect more savings to accrue to the Government in years to come.

“It is very clear that the long-term strategy to keep the PBS sustainable is working.

“What is also very clear is that there is absolutely no need for further PBS reform. By any measure the PBS is being well managed, spending is being contained and the program is sustainable.”

The 13 medicines taking price cuts today are: Amisulpride (18.27%); Bisoprolol (18.75%); Cefalotin (16.99%); Doxorubicin (32.97%); Escitalopram (36.76%); Levetiracetam (14.15%); Meloxicam (23.62%); Mitozantrone (18.25%); Ondansetron (77.25%); Oxaliplatin (51.76%); Oxybutinin (11.25%); Perindopril (11.59%); Prochlorperazine (25.55%).


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