Stronger PBS campaign radio advertising commences this weekend

3 May 2024: The second phase of Medicines Australia’s ‘Stronger PBS’ campaign will commence this weekend with radio and digital media advertisements.

The ‘Stronger PBS’ campaign aims to educate Australians about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) through the real-life stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were able to access the medicine they need, and stories of people who are still waiting for medicines they need to be available through the PBS.

Medicines Australia CEO Liz de Somer said the next phase will build on the campaign’s success on social media to reach people through traditional media platforms including radio and print. 

“The Stronger PBS campaign is designed to initiate aconversation with the public about the PBS including access issues that people often are not aware of until they are personally affected.

“We know through research that Australians love the PBS but most don’t know a lot about how it works or how long it takes for medicines to be made available through the PBS.

“People are shocked to learn it takes 466 days on average from when a medicine is approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to it being available through the PBS.”

Over the next month, radio ads will air in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney with a message that links the emotive impact of traffic delays with the stark reality of the impact of waiting for a life-changing medicine.

“We all get frustrated sitting in traffic, but for patients waiting to access a new medicine, delays can mean the difference between life and death,” Ms de Somer said. 

“When you hear the worst possible news from a doctor that you or your loved one has a life-threatening condition, the last thing you expect to then hear is that there is a medicine that can treat this but it’s not yet available on the PBS and might not be in the time you have left.”

“Australians believe our health system is world class, but the reality is that when it comes to access the latest innovative medicines, we are a long way behind.”

Through the campaign, we are building a community of engaged and informed Australians who are passionate about the PBS and want to see change.

Since launching in late September, the campaign has reached more than 2 million people. The campaign will continue throughout 2024 with different phases of activity planned to build an engaged community.

Media enquiries to Kate McKeown, Senior Manager Communications and Media – or 0408 775 288.