Price cuts mean PBS is sustainable and can afford new medicines

Yet more price cuts announced yesterday to come into effect on 1 October for 300 medicines reaffirms that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is sustainable.

“We have been saying for a long time that these cuts will continue and, frankly, it’s no surprise. Some arguments that have been made about generic medicine pricing are clearly outdated,” Dr Brendan Shaw, Medicines Australia Chief Executive, said.

Generic medicines on the PBS will see price cuts of up to 62 per cent on October 1 when the first round of simplified price disclosure takes effect.

“The key issue for the PBS now is access to new medicines.

“We want to make sure that Australians can have the latest safe, effective and cost-effective treatments but the Australian medicines industry needs predictability and stability in policy.”

“Make no mistake, these reforms have hit the industry particularly hard. PBS reforms have secured an enduring savings mechanism through price disclosure,” Dr Shaw said.

“The important thing now is to ensure a predictable PBS that allows companies to work with the government to bring new medicines to the Australian community.”

Price cuts on two of the highest cost medicines on the PBS, cholesterol-lowering atorvastatin and rosuvastatin, will deliver the Government around $1 billion over the next four years from this one round of price disclosure alone. This is the second big price cut for atorvastatin from price disclosure.

Other medicines to treat depression, diabetes and cancer will also see price cuts including Chemotherapy medicines oxaliplatin with a 41 per cent price cut and paclitaxel with a 28 per cent price cut. Paclitaxel is also undergoing multiple rounds of price cuts.


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