Restore confidence through PBS listings

The Federal Government can build consumer and industry confidence in its management of the healthcare reform agenda by addressing its missteps with the PBS, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw told industry experts in Sydney today.

Keynote speaker at the annual eyeforpharma Sales and Marketing Excellence Conference, Dr Shaw said the Federal Cabinet has no need to delay or block the listing of new medicines on the PBS.

“The PBS is sustainable once the Government takes into account its own forecasts of modest PBS growth and the headroom being created for new medicines through price disclosure savings and patent expiries.

“Government should be talking up its capacity to deliver the latest innovative medicines for Australians, not holding them back.

“Patents are set to expire shortly for 11 of the top 20 medicines in the world by value, price disclosure is delivering significant price reductions already and the government is reaping the benefits of greater competition in the medicines marketplace.

“The Government should be sitting ready to hit the ‘go’ button to fund the latest, cost effective medicines, not sitting on its hands.

“Government has heard the message that uncertainty in medicines listing is universally opposed by the community, health professionals and industry. Health is a priority. Seize the opportunity to invest in it.

“Spending on new medicines generates savings in the health system and they are an important investment in Australians’ quality of life. Australians want new medical technologies available to improve their lives.

“It’s time the Government restored the usual practice for PBS listings. There aren’t many more important things for Government expenditure than medicines for sick people,” he said.

Dr Shaw cited Government Medicare data for PBS growth, the most recent Intergenerational Report, Treasury projections from this year’s Budget, and other reports as evidence that PBS growth is well controlled.


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