Medicines Australia concerned by slow growth in PBS spending

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said today he was concerned by new figures that show a significant slowdown in the growth of Government spending on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

A study on health spending released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare shows that growth in PBS spending for 2005-06 slowed in real terms to just 1.7 per cent.

“One of the key concepts of PBS reforms is to ensure that all Australians have access to new medicines in the future,” Mr Chalmers said.

“So it’s important that the PBS grows at a reasonable level to protect the future health of the community.

“Medicines Australia will continue to work with Government to ensure all Australians get access to new therapies that the innovative medicines industry is developing.

“There are powerful arguments for investing appropriately in a PBS system that offsets the significant cost of chronic disease.

“Innovative medicines help control costs by preventing the need for care at public hospitals, shortening stays in hospitals where they are required, and relieving the costs of other institutional care.

“The slowdown in growth of PBS spending is a concern because if it continues, it will jeopardise the access to new medicines that the PBS reforms are designed to protect.”

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Jamie Nicholson
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