1400 new drugs to be subsidised on new PBS list

Australians could save hundreds each year on newly subsidised medicines.

1400 new drugs to be subsidised on new PBS list

Australians with Parkinson’s disease, breast cancer and schizophrenia will save hundreds of dollars a year after the Government added 1400 subsidised medications to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme took effect yesterday.

According to psychiatrist Professor Malcolm Hopwood, schizophrenia patients and their families will hopefully enjoy a higher quality of lifewith the approval of the antipsychotic tablet Rexulti.

"It's a valuable addition because new treatments are always welcome," said Prof Hopwood.

"There isn't one single drug or treatment which is the perfect option for everyone, so a new drug provides more options which is always important.”

Prof Hopwood said schizophrenia is one of the top 10 disabilities in Australia, with patients suffering from the condition experiencing significant physical and mental setbacks.

"It can be heartbreaking for the family," said Prof Hopwood.

Rexulti is normally $1700, but after being added to the PBS, it will cost just $38.

The drug is one of 1400 new to the list. Patients undergoing chemotherapy for breast cancer, women being treated for endometriosis, and patients suffering from stomach problems or high blood pressure are also set to benefit from the latest list.

Statins used to treat heart disease have been discounted by 700 per cent, now that the patent has expired and generics have been added to the list.

Although many Australians will benefit, pensioners and concession cardholders may not see any major change because they already pay no more than the $6.30 patient co-payment.

Apart from discounted general medications, the biggest savings will be on highly specialised and expensive drugs such as chemotherapy or for medications to treat leukaemia and AIDS.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the new list of subsidised medicines will save taxpayers around $430 million over the next four years.

Labor's health spokeswoman, Catherine King, said that while cheaper medicines are welcomed, the Government has only listed a fraction of the medicines that could be on the scheme.

For more information on the new subsidised medicines, visit www.pbs.gov.au

Will you benefit from any of the new subsidised medicines?

RELATED ARTICLES





    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login

    2nd Oct 2017
    2:28pm
    That's a first - the Li(e)berals doing something good for once. Knowing them, though, as the soulless beancounters they truly are, they'll undoubtedly cut funding to something else vital 'to balance the books'.
    Anonymous
    2nd Oct 2017
    6:29pm
    typical comment of another unwashed contributor to these columns
    Rosret
    3rd Oct 2017
    9:27am
    Actually DrPm sadly its not a good thing at all.
    If they are taking the brand names off the psychiatric prescribed medicines subsidised by the PBS and putting the generics in their place then we have a very serious scenario.
    Not only are they proving to be less or not effective at all they may be causing harm. So the next time you see a kids on the news going loopy in the street ask yourself if he or she is on the right meds!
    It may not be house fires from insulation bats but it is up there on the seriousness of the situation.
    The only reason this was done was to save money on a medical system that has had an enormous cost blow out.
    Kathleen
    2nd Oct 2017
    2:42pm
    They have taken many needed drugs off the free list. I have to pay extra to get some of my scripts filled. Both my sister and I are unable to take one particular one that has been removed and replaced with another brand. We have to pay extra to get the original brand. APO seem to disagree with me whether it is the mixers or the coating. There is a very very long list that have been removed.
    Anonymous
    2nd Oct 2017
    6:34pm
    whinge, whinge, some people are never satisfied
    Rosret
    2nd Oct 2017
    8:01pm
    heemskerk99 - why should we be satisfied with a generic brand when the quality product was available just a few months ago.
    I am with GK22 I want the better quality product.
    KSS
    2nd Oct 2017
    3:51pm
    More whining! GrandmaKathlen22 if you are paying a bit more for SOME medications all it means is that you reach the cap sooner and then all are free/lower cost thereafter.
    Kathleen
    2nd Oct 2017
    4:19pm
    Yes, that is right thankfully! I have to avoid ones made byAPO though which means sometimes it is hard to get the ones I need. We had to go for a very long drive last week which is not so easy for some of us.
    Kathleen
    2nd Oct 2017
    4:19pm
    Still no need to be unpleasant. You just needed to remind me of that.
    Kathleen
    2nd Oct 2017
    4:20pm
    Also, do they count the extra or just what you could have paid if you chose the cheap substitute!
    hooha
    2nd Oct 2017
    6:32pm
    The brand premium as as the difference in price is termed ISN'T included in the cap.

    But if you don't get as good results from the generic or as seems the case with you additional problems, the authorities don't recongnise these as problems.

    As long as the drugs are close enough to the original the authorities approve them. Even some who lost import approval from the FDA (USA) and NHS (UK) continued to be allowed here.

    Go figure
    Anonymous
    2nd Oct 2017
    6:38pm
    you can always refuse the generic option of the article without having to pay more for the origional brand
    Rosret
    2nd Oct 2017
    7:56pm
    hooha that is such a worry as mental medications that don't work will cause deaths.
    People in the profession have already identified a failing in the generic brands but do the doctors know that?
    heemskerk99 they have to know they are being given the generic and it may not work. This is a serious concern.
    Kathleen
    2nd Oct 2017
    10:30pm
    I thought I remembered my doctor saying something about we only get the lower figure towards our safety net. I can’t help it though as some don’t agree with me. Th dr said there are a lot of pensioners in the same boat. I just include the extra in my budget. And as stated sometimes we have to drive long distances to collect the ones we want.
    Rosret
    2nd Oct 2017
    7:51pm
    I do hope its for the product name prescriptions. I understand the generic medications for mental health have a significant difference in effectiveness.
    Rocky
    2nd Oct 2017
    7:57pm
    I have always paid a surcharge on some of my medications but I don't mind I'm on a lot of meds everyday and I for one am very happy with what the government pay for me through the PBS They can't support every drug I think it would be a fine line they tread
    Kathleen
    2nd Oct 2017
    10:31pm
    By what time of the year do you reach the safety net mark?
    musicveg
    3rd Oct 2017
    12:55am
    So does this mean more money paid by the Government to the Pharmaceutical companies?
    Rosret
    3rd Oct 2017
    9:34am
    Ah no - they are saving money. We are being given the cheap and nasty stuff and if you want the good stuff you have to pay. The trouble is the Pharmacist seem to be in on the deal and getting the good stuff is quite difficult - the non prescription quality product is not even on the shelves.
    musicveg
    3rd Oct 2017
    3:53pm
    I recall seeing a documentary about copy meds in places like Africa where they are making a roaring trade. You can get it from China and take a packet and they will replicate it.