New report shows PBS spending under control

A new report by Access Economics confirms spending on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme will not spiral out of control, as the Howard Government’s two Intergenerational Reports predicted.

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said the report demonstrates very clearly that the PBS will be sustainable into the future and will not blow out Government healthcare budgets.

“This important study presents a powerful argument to the Rudd Government as to why the PBS should be quarantined from Budget cuts,” Mr Chalmers said.

“We now have compelling independent evidence that growth is being contained and we have a sustainable PBS.

“Access Economics projections are that PBS spending in 2042 will account for just 1.6 per cent of GDP. That is half the amount predicted by the first Intergenerational Report in 2002.

“Access Economics has shown that the PBS will be financially sustainable for at least the next 40 years.

“Reforms introduced to the PBS in 2007 are designed to ensure the scheme remains sustainable over the long term. The Access Economics report clearly shows those reforms are doing their job.

“Price cuts to PBS medicines are expected to deliver savings to Government of more than $650 million over the next three years, and $6 billion over 10 years.

“The heavy lifting by industry has well and truly begun. Government will bank those savings as long as there is a viable pharmaceutical industry in Australia.

“However, that viability would be undermined by any unexpected changes to what was a carefully planned and agreed reform program.

“The fact is, Australia’s prescription pharmaceuticals industry is already well ahead of the savings curve.”

The report was launched last night by Access Economics Director Chris Richardson.


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