Parliament passes PBS reforms

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw has welcomed Parliament’s passage of the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2010.

The Bill legislates price cuts to PBS medicines agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth.

Dr Shaw said Medicines Australia would work with all sides of politics and other healthcare stakeholders to ensure the MoU was implemented efficiently.

“This legislation will lead to reductions in the price consumers pay for hundreds of medicines on the PBS,” Dr Shaw said.

“It will also ensure that Australian taxpayers get a fairer deal on the price the Government pays for PBS medicines.

“Effectively, this will mean a more sustainable PBS.

“While the cuts contained in the Bill will have a significant financial impact on our member companies, the MoU will provide a period of policy predictability for Australia’s medicines industry.

“This certainty will allow Australia’s medicines industry to get on with what it does best. That is bringing life-saving medicines and vaccines to the community, helping Australians lead healthy and happy lives and investing in research into new therapies.

“It is also about employing thousands of Australians in high-skilled jobs, and generating billions of dollars in high-value manufactured exports for Australia.”

Dr Shaw said Medicines Australia’s focus would be trained on successful implementation of the MoU measures.

“Medicines Australia will work with the Government, the Parliament and other stakeholders to ensure the implementation of the MoU.

“We fully support the introduction of new tracking and monitoring tools, and the range of improvements to the PBS listing process.

“The process improvements, such as parallel regulatory and reimbursement evaluation, managed entry scheme for new medicines, and the maximum six-month time limit for Federal Cabinet approval of new PBS listings will be particularly important for Australian consumers.”


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