Government Delivers $20 Million Medicine Price Drop for Patients

Government Delivers $20 Million Medicine Price Drop for Patients

01 August 2013

Patients will save around $20 million per year on the price of 492 brands of medicine, thanks to the Federal Government's pharmaceutical pricing policy, designed to get better value for patients and taxpayers.

The Minister for Health, Tanya Plibersek, said the price drops for the 492 brands of medicines start today, saving 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
  • The Government publicly subsidies these medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

This is a result of the Government working hard to make medicines cheaper for patients, Ms Plibersek said.

This $20 million price drop for patients is thanks to the Governments pharmaceutical pricing policy designed to get better value for patients and taxpayers.

The Governments pharmaceutical pricing policy is known as price disclosure.

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.

There are also significant savings for taxpayers.

Our approach keeps more money in patients pockets and also helps the Government to continue to invest in the newest medicines.

Ms Plibersek announced that from today the Government was also listing 16 new medicines on the PBS for public subsidy, including new treatments for melanoma, breast cancer, prostate cancer, and stroke.

The Government is investing $917.4 million to list these new medicines that will help more than 350,000 people per year, Ms Plibersek said.

Since 2007, the Government has approved the listing of a record $6 billion worth of new medicines and vaccines.

Full lists of the medicine price drops and the details of the new medicines are available on the PBS website.