Medicare data shows PBS growth under control

New publicly available Government data from Medicare Australia shows that Government expenditure on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme grew by just over 5 per cent in 2010-11 – or less than 2 per cent in real terms.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said today the new data, coupled with today’s release of the annual inflation figures, show that PBS spending is well under control.

“It’s really time to explode this myth that the PBS is unsustainable,” Dr Shaw said.

“With inflation running at 3.6 per cent and PBS growth at 5.2 per cent, the PBS is actually growing at less than 2 per cent a year in real terms.

“It’s really time for people to wake up and smell the coffee. The PBS is not growing out of control. The evidence shows that real growth is minimal.

“For a major healthcare program to achieve such minimal growth, while still providing universal access to the latest medicines to a growing and ageing population, is quite an extraordinary achievement.

“The Medicare figures show very clearly that there is no need for Government to take a heavy-handed approach to the PBS. There is simply no justification for knee-jerk savings measures such as the Cabinet’s deferral of PBS medicines.

“The Government’s own figures show that the PBS is in good shape. I urge Government to stop and look at this data.

“The Government’s own Intergenerational Report projected that the PBS as a proportion of GDP will be flat right out to 2020.

“The most recent OECD data shows that the Australian Government continues to spend well below the OECD average as a proportion of GDP.

“Now the most recent Medicare data points to the same conclusion. By any definition the PBS is sustainable.”

The Medicare Australia data is available from here (please follow link)


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