New drugs listed on PBS – October 2017

Filed under: Politics, Australian Politics, Social and Community, Health,

Health Minister Greg Hunt says subsidies and price reductions for more than 1,400 medications came into effect from October 1.

“Millions of Australians suffering from a range of health conditions will benefit from lower priced medications – with savings worth more than half a billion dollars for patients and taxpayers over the next four years,” the minister said.

People with conditions including high blood pressure, mental health conditions, certain types of cancer, rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis will pay less for their medicines.

Some of the medications that are now cheaper for general patients include:

  • Tamoxifen for breast cancer – around 84,000 scripts (for 20,000 patients) will be up to $3.50 (or 11.6 per cent) cheaper per script.
  • Leflunomide for rheumatoid arthritis and psoriatic arthritis – around 78,000 scripts (for 17,000 patients) will be up to $4.24 (or 11.4 per cent) cheaper per script.
  • Telmisartan for high blood pressure – around 1.28 million scripts (for 160,000 patients) will be up to $1.75 (or 9.3 per cent) cheaper per script.
  • Quetiapine for mental health conditions – around 190,000 scripts (for 48,000 patients) will be up to $5.94 (or 20.7 per cent) cheaper per script; and
  • Capecitabine for certain types of cancer – around 17,000 scripts (for 4,300 patients) will be up to $6.26 (or 18.7 per cent) cheaper per script.

“For the many Australians who take multiple medications daily, the savings will be considerable,” Mr Hunt said.

“These reductions will also deliver estimated savings to taxpayers of $430 million over the next four years, with additional savings to patient out-of-pocket costs estimated at $75 million over the next four years.

“These savings are part of more than $24 billion in savings estimated to be achieved by 2020-21, since PBS reforms began in 2007.

“Since coming into Government, the Coalition has helped improve the health of Australians by adding around $7.5 billion worth of medicines to the PBS.”

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