The generic drugs that will cost less

Is your medication on the new list of less expensive prescription drugs?

Some prescription drugs will become less expensive

From Monday, thousands of older Australians taking a number of common medicines will pay less for them following government negotiations with the makers of generic drugs.

Prices will be reduced on a total of 24 medicines across 226 brands for people who are not eligible for government concessions. Among the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) drugs affected are:

  • pregabalin (Lyrica): around 200,000 patients with neuropathic pain will now pay $33.38 per script, a saving of up to $6.12
  • oxycodone (Endone): people with severe pain that does not respond to standard analgesics will pay $48.61 for this medication, down from $55.24
  • valsartan with hydrochlorothiazide: about 4500 patients with high blood pressure will now pay $23.96 per script, a saving of up to $2.18
  • dorzolamide (Timolol): about 1300 glaucoma patients will now pay $19.18 for these eye drops, a saving of $3.02.


Among the biggest savings will be hundreds of dollars shaved off a medication to treat pulmonary arterial hypertension. Bosentan, marketed as Apotex, will drop from $2342 to $1583.

Organ transplant recipients and patients suffering with HIV/AIDS will also save big time. Valganciclovir, an antiviral that suppresses infection, will cost $3059, down from $3631.

Search the full list of medications that will become less expensive to see if it is one your doctor prescribes you.

Health Minister Greg Hunt said the price drops will save consumers and taxpayers more than $344 million, delivering cheaper medicines for patients and more support for listing more new medicines on the PBS.

By law, pharmaceutical companies must reveal the prices at which they sell multi-branded PBS medicines to wholesalers and pharmacies.

If the Government is paying a significantly higher price, this is reduced to bring the PBS price closer to the general market price.

“We are currently making on average one new or amended PBS listing per day,” Mr Hunt said. “We are subsidising all drugs recommended by the independent medical experts.”

In the May Budget, the Government announced an extra $2.4 billion would be spent on new medicines.

“Our commitment to the PBS is rock solid. Together with Medicare, it is a foundation of our world-class healthcare system,” the Minister said.

Do you have to pay for your prescriptions because you do not have a health concession card? Are there some medicines you believe should be listed on the PBS but are not? Do you use generic or branded drugs?



    To make a comment, please register or login
    Ted Wards
    28th Sep 2018
    medical entrenchment to the generation who believes doctors are gods and don't make about a I really need to be on 20 different tablets or can I accept that as you age the body breaks down and you're never going to avoid old age or death unless you die young.....
    Tis only me
    28th Sep 2018
    Ted, I accept there are those who take way more medications than they probably really need to, but for many, without those medications their life would be miserable. Unless they're suffering from a condition that's going to kill them off quickly, what is the alternative?
    I have a son, 41 years of age, with a severe degenerative condition in his spine. He's avoided all but the most mild pain killers for as long as possible, but he has had to finally relent to taking more effective pain relief. The alternative is to spend almost every day flat on his back. I must add that my son has always had a healthy diet, looked after his fitness (qualified Exercise Physiologist) and it seems his medical condition is just 'the luck of the draw'.
    I am very lucky in that I need no regular medication of any sort, but what do you suggest is the alternative for those not so fortunate?
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2018
    I recently went to a new specialist and he asked what prescriptions I take and I said none. He asked about various ones and I said no don't take it to all of them. Then I asked don't you believe me and he said no. So I asked why? He showed me the referral which listed all the drugs I have been prescribed by never even had filled. So I explained to him that they were poisons and I don't believe in taking any of them. He said good on you.

    28th Sep 2018
    Anything that will reduce the costs people are experiencing has to be a good thing.
    Old Geezer
    28th Sep 2018
    If you want any drug other than the generic then you should be asked to pay the real difference in price between the two. Our PBS should only pay for the cheapest drug.
    3rd Jan 2019
    OG, that is what occurs! And only the generic is counted towards your safety net. Once reached, you pay the extra. So, your point is?
    28th Sep 2018
    Drug companies make a profit from sick people and the people who really need the expensive drugs cannot access them Yes being well is a luck of the draw and genetics. You can choose not to take painkillers an any other medication that you need that might keep things like heart attacks at bay. Not all people want to be taking painkillers or other medication. Sometimes there is no choice. My chemist always ask me whether I want the generic brand of my medication which thankfully is only one.
    28th Sep 2018
    You might be interested to watch Michael Moore's documentary "Sicko" - about Big Pharma in America. He takes a number of people to Cuba, where the provided medicine is free. It's a lesson to the Rightard trolls who infest YLC pages.

    28th Sep 2018
    Note that Oxycodone is NOT the same as Endone: the former is slow-release.
    28th Sep 2018
    Oxycodone is the name of the drug. One of the brands of the immediate release formulation is Endone. One of the brands of the slow release version is Oxycontin. It was my understanding both are on the PBS in specified quantities for specified purposes.
    29th Sep 2018
    Antihistamines should be included on the PBS. The drugs are usually expensive, and people cannot help their allergies, lwhich can be life-threastening.)

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