Chifley residents to benefit from cheaper prescriptions from 1 April 2012

The cost of 60 medicines fell on 1 April as a result of changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), making the price of prescriptions cheaper for people in Chifley.

Federal Member for Chifley Ed Husic said the Gillard Government’s Price Disclosure program ensures Australian taxpayers benefit from discounts and incentives provided by manufacturers for off-patent medicines.

“This is great news for consumers who will see additional money in their pockets as the result of the Gillard Government’s reforms,” Mr Husic said.
“Consumers now have access to the medicines they need at reduced prices while also taking comfort knowing their health dollars are being put to the best possible use.”

Mr Husic said under the Price Disclosure program the price paid for simvastatin, for example, a cholesterol lowering drug, is now be between $5 and $14 a month cheaper. As part of the reforms, price disclosure and other price reductions will deliver over $1.9 billion in savings to taxpayers over five years. On average patients will now see a $3 savings per packet of medicine.

“When medicines come off-patent, they can be sold far more cheaply under different brand names, but they are still eligible for the full reimbursement amount from the PBS.

“Price disclosure means the price that Government pays is in line with the market price, ensuring the cheapest possible prescriptions for people in Chifley.”

As of 1 April more than 1,000 brands, which make up 60 types of medicines, became cheaper for general and concessional patients when they fill their script.

In fact, some of the most commonly used medicines on the PBS will be significantly cheaper. For example, non concessional patients now save:

? between $5 and $14 per month for some strengths of simvastatin and pravastatin for lowering cholesterol;

? $8 – $9 per month for pantoprazole and omeprazole for gastro-oesophageal reflux disease; and

? $7.88 per month for alendronic acid for osteoporosis.

Concessional patients will continue to pay only $5.80 co-payment for their PBS prescriptions. The most a general patient can pay for a PBS prescription is co-payment of $35.40.

Full details of all changes to the PBS are available at: www.pbs.gov.au