Hip pocket relief on the way for PBS medicines

Consumers across the north are expected to benefit when more than 2000 medicine brands treating common conditions drop in price from next month, some as much as 50 per cent or more.

Northern-based LNP Senator Ian Macdonald said from 1 October, 2016, one-in-three medicine brands on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will be cheaper for consumers by as much as $20 per script.

“This is wonderful news for residents right across the North, particularly those suffering multiple chronic conditions such as osteoporosis, high blood pressure and eye disease, who are expected to save as much as $4,000 per year on their medicine scripts,” Senator Macdonald said.

For example, a non-concessional patient with diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and gastric reflux who is currently taking:

  • Metformin for type 2 diabetes 500mg twice daily
  • Pantoprazole for gastric reflux 40mg tablet daily
  • Alendronate 70mg + colecalciferol 140microgram tablet for osteoporosis (as per dosing instructions) and
  • Enalapril with hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure 20mg/6mg tablet daily;

will save up to $34.19 per month on scripts, which equates to a yearly reduction of $410.28.

“I know that the cost of living is one of the biggest issues impacting on residents in the North, so any savings that can be made for essential medicines is not only welcome, but a huge relief.”

 More than 80 per cent – or about 1600 of the 2000-plus brands of medicines set to drop in price will result in a direct saving to consumers, while the remaining 20 per cent – those priced about the general PBS co-payment of $38.30 – would see a saving to the taxpayer, Senator Macdonald said.

 In addition to saving consumers, the reform, part of the Coalition Government’s landmark PBS Sustainability Package introduced last year, will also save taxpayers nearly $900million over the next four years by ensuring the Government isn’t overpaying for medicines either.

 “The savings are already being used to subsidise new breakthrough medicines like the $150,000 melanoma treatment, Keytruda, Senator Macdonald said.

 Labor, on the other hand, blocked new medicines for conditions like asthma and chronic pain from being listed on the PBS because they couldn’t afford to pay for them,” Senator Macdonald said.

 The price reduction comes into effect on 1 October, 2016. For more information visit www.health.gov.au.  


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