New price cuts to medicines demonstrate PBS sustainability

“Price cuts to over 100 PBS-listed medicines will again deliver hundreds of millions of dollars in savings to Government, patients and taxpayers,” Medicines Australia CEO, Tim James, said.

“These latest price cuts, which will take effect on 1 April 2015, reaffirm the medicines industry’s continuing contribution to the sustainability of the PBS.

“Ongoing price cuts to medicines through the Simplified Price Disclosure policy will continue to provide significant savings to government and ample scope to fund new and innovative treatments as they are developed.

“Many of the most widely used medicines will reduce in price; for example commonly used cholesterol lowing drugs atorvastatin and rosuvastatin will take a 25 percent and 16 percent reduction respectively, whilst clopidogrel, which reduces the risk of heart attacks and strokes, will take a 28.9 percent reduction.

“191 products have now been exposed to price disclosure since 2011; of which 22 products have fallen in cost by over 80% from their original price, and many medicines are now well below the co-payment, further reducing consumers out of pocket expenses and making their medicines more affordable.

“We know that PBS reforms have secured an enduring savings mechanism through price disclosure. The industry has already done the hard yards and importantly, these reforms were achieved through collaboration between government and industry.

“While the OECD Economic Survey of Australia, released today, noted increasing pressures on Australia’s health system, these latest medicine price cuts comprehensively prove that the PBS is not to blame.

“The fact that the OECD has scored Australia very highly in health status is also due, in large part, to the launch and PBS listing of innovative medicines here – that’s a title we definitely don’t want to lose.”

Mr James acknowledged that the focus must now shift to ensuring that patients get access to new and innovative medicines as quickly as possible.


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