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New Medicines Added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Consumers will save around $20 million per year on subsidies of medicines added to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, said the price drops for the 492 brands of medicines will save patients up to $120 per year for some medicines, and up to $14.68 per script.

The medicines dropping in price include:

  • Ceftriaxone an antibiotic, which drops by $14.68 per script
  • Simvastatin for high cholesterol, which drops by $10.43 per script
  • Clopidogrel for heart conditions, which drops by $4.27 per script
  • Sertraline for depression, which drops by $3.64 per script

When a publicly subsidised medicine comes off patent, it can be subject to competition that lowers the manufacturers selling price. Price disclosure compels medicine manufacturers to disclose that lower price to the Government. The Government then moves its level of public subsidy for the medicine into line with the average lower price, which in many cases means a drop in the cost of the medicine for patients at the pharmacy counter.

“These price drops mean that patients will be up to $14.68 better off on each script they get filled at their pharmacy,” Ms Plibersek said. “It includes drops of up to about 35 per cent in the cost of these medicines for patients.”

Concessional patients will continue to only pay a $5.90 co-payment for their PBS prescriptions.

“Price disclosure is already expected to save patients up to $1.6 billion over the next 10 years. With these additional price drops, savings to patients are expected to increase to more than $2 billion over the next 10 years,” Ms Plibersek said.

The Government will also list 16 new medicines on the PBS for public subsidy, including new treatments for melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and stroke.

Full lists of the medicine price drops and the details of the new medicines are available on the PBS website at www.pbs.gov.au