Medicines agreement will reduce script prices

An agreement between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth Government will reduce the price of hundreds of medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Medicines Australia told a Senate inquiry today.

The agreement, announced in the May Budget, will deliver PBS savings to taxpayers worth $1.86 billion over five years. The savings will be realised by cuts in the price the Federal Government pays for hundreds of commonly prescribed off-patent medicines. These price cuts will flow to consumers.

The Senate Community Affairs Committee is inquiring into the National Health Amendment Bill, which gives effect to the savings measures in the MoU, and is due to publish its report on Thursday 26 August.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the legislation would deliver significant benefit to taxpayers and consumers.

“This agreement gives pricing certainty to Australia’s medicines industry,” Dr Shaw said.

“Importantly, it will also save the taxpayer $1.86 billion and will mean cheaper scripts for patients.

“Hundreds of medicines commonly prescribed to treat high cholesterol, hypertension, asthma, cardiovascular disease, rheumatoid arthritis and depression will become cheaper for patients currently paying the non-concessional rate.

“I welcome the Coalition’s statement yesterday that it would give bipartisan support to the MoU.

“I strongly encourage all parties to work together on the resumption of Parliament to ensure the enabling legislation is enacted as quickly as possible, irrespective of who wins government.”

Medicines Australia member companies supply 86 per cent of medicines to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The submission is available here


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