Reform brings medicine price cut
THE prices for millions of prescriptions for common medicines, treating everything from cholestorol to high blood pressure, have been cut by as much as $20 or 60%.
The price of a large proportion of expensive combination medicines and patent-protected drugs listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme dropped at the weekend, in what Minster for Health Sussan Ley called an Australian first.
Ms Ley said the changes were key elements of the Coalition’s Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme reform package, which passed the Senate last year.
“Australians will see many common medications reduce in price for consumers by as much as $20 per script – some for the first time ever – as part of our commitment to making medicines more affordable and accessible for Australians,” she said.
“With one-in-five Australians now living every day with multiple chronic conditions like heart disease, high blood pressure, eye disease and depression, this could save patients as much as $500 a year.
“We are also bolstering the future sustainability of the PBS and our ability to invest in new medicines by ensuring taxpayers are paying fair prices for drugs currently protected against competition.”
Ms Ley said this was just the start, with further price reductions of as much as 50% coming in October.
Consumers will see a direct reduction in the cost of more than 60 common medicines priced below the general $38.80 co-payment as part of the April round.