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Medicines Australia surprised by PBAC measure

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Media Release

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers said tonight he was surprised and disappointed by the Government’s controversial Budget measure forcing the pharmaceutical industry to fund the Government’s own Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

While welcoming several health funding announcements in the Budget, Mr Chalmers said the Government’s move to recover the cost of the PBAC was inappropriate.

Mr Chalmers added that the imposition of cost recovery from 1 July 2008 gave pharmaceutical companies very little opportunity to make appropriate provisions in their annual budgets. Most Medicines Australia member companies operate calendar year budgets, with 2008 budgets already allocated.

“The implementation of cost recovery at such short notice will present a major challenge to companies,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Cost recovery is not a measure that is appropriate. The procurement of pharmaceuticals for the PBS is a government function and it’s unreasonable for industry to be expected to pay for the business of government.”

Mr Chalmers said cost-recovery was particularly unwelcome at a time when the innovative pharmaceutical industry in Australia is confronting some specific challenges.

“This measure comes on top of structural difficulties that the industry has had to deal with over the past few months,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Industry has had three manufacturing plant closures announced in the past 12 months, at a cost of some 500 jobs. As well as this, our member companies face major price cuts from 1 August 2008 as a result of PBS reforms.

“Australia is in a fierce global competition at the moment and it’s important for this country to have a policy environment that encourages investment by global head offices.”


Contact Person:

Jamie Nicholson
Media Communications Manager
Phone: 0419 220 293


As COVID19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to anyone who has been infected or impacted. We hope that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and well, both at work and at home.

Medicines Australia continues to monitor the situation and take advice from the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. We are focused on responding to the important short-term issues but are also ensuring we stay balanced and maintain a focus on the medium and long-term business for our industry along with the well-being of our people.

At Medicines Australia we have initiated the following to ensure we support containment measures to provide business continuity and the well-being of our staff.

  • All non-essential travel has been restricted or cancelled
  • All face-to-face meetings (with external stakeholders and members) have been changed to virtual meetings (where appropriate)
  • Staff have been provided with the latest official information on COVID-19 through a hot-link on the office intranet; this information is regularly monitored and updated
  • Flexible working arrangements are covered in our HR policy which will allow staff to work remotely, if or when required
  • Current IT infrastructure enables staff to work remotely and will be in use if any person needs to self-isolate
  • Visual reminders have been displayed around the office, providing information about best hygiene practices
  • Extra hand-sanitiser, tissues and cleaning products have been supplied to staff for their work spaces

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