PBS Bill can save patients as much as $21 per script, National Press Club told

New reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme being considered by the Senate will reduce by as much as $21 the prices patients pay for many prescription medicines, Medicines Australia chairman Will Delaat told the National Press Club today.

Mr Delaat’s address follows yesterday’s tabling of a Senate Committee report on the legislation, which would also deliver the Government $1.86 billion in PBS savings.

“The benefit for consumers is that those savings will reduce the prices patients pay for many off-patent medicines by as much as $21 per script, per month,” Mr Delaat said.

“It will ensure that Australians pay less for hundreds of commonly used medicines to treat high blood pressure, asthma, depression, cholesterol, arthritis and other conditions.”

The legislation that enables the substantial price cuts for consumers is a part of the Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth.

The measures are supported by the Consumers Health Forum, Breast Cancer Network Australia, the National Prescribing Service and the Pharmacy Guild as well as by Medicines Australia’s 50 member companies.

Mr Delaat told the National Press Club that the MoU would deliver a better, more sustainable PBS and a better health system for all Australians.

“Consumers will also directly benefit from the process improvements to the PBS, which will enable medicines to become available quicker to those who need them ….

“As our population ages and the demands on the health budget grow, the only way we can continue to fund the latest life-saving medicines as they come online and ensure the sustainability of the PBS is by driving savings through competition in the older, off-patent market.

“The fact is that while the Australian Government pays on average 20 per cent less than the OECD countries for new, patented medicines, the prices it pays for older, generic medicines are high by international standards.

“For years, while Australia’s low prices for new medicines have led to delays in their listing, Australians have been paying top dollar for old medicines that are cheaper in other markets.”


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