MYEFO shows PBS can afford new medicines

The Mid Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) released today did not include any reference to upward cost variations for the PBS; reinforcing what Medicines Australia has been asserting for some time, that new medicine listings are affordable.

Despite a revised Budget deficit for 2014-15 of $40.4 billion, over $10 billion larger than seven months ago, it appears that price disclosure reforms are keeping pharmaceutical benefits (and services) costs largely static at $10.5 billion.

Medicines Australia CEO, Tim James, welcomed the $300 million in innovative medicine listings made by Government since the Budget, and noted that they had been partially offset by significant price amendments.

“It is only by listing these important life-saving drugs that they become available to the sick Australian patients who need them most,” Mr James said.

“These listings bring innovative treatments to those suffering from pancreatic cancer, cystic fibrosis and HIV, as well as rare diseases such as atypical Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome.

“Price disclosure reforms have led to forecast expenditure for the 2014-15 financial year being downgraded in every Budget since 2011. And we anticipate ongoing savings from Price Disclosure to continue to deliver more savings before the full Budget in May.”

The Government indicates in this MYEFO that it will save $124.6 million over four years from price amendments for certain medicines currently listed on the PBS and RPBS. However, the price amendments do not appear to take into account scheduled 1 April 2015 Price Disclosure Reductions.

“Medicines Australia will continue to work with the Government to ensure that Australians have access to the latest medicines and innovative treatments through a clearly sustainable PBS,” Mr James said.

“While the Government continues to face fiscal pressures across other portfolios, it is repeatedly made clear that this is not due to the cost of the PBS.”


Contact Person:

Alexia Vlahos
Phone: (02) 6122 8503