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Statement from MA on MYEFO

Monday, 18 December 2017

Media Release

Statement from Medicines Australia:

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook (MYEFO) outlines additional expenditure related to new and amended listings since the Federal Budget.

Medicines Australia welcomes the ongoing commitment of the Turnbull Government to list medicines recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in a timely manner which will benefit thousands of Australians who need access to the latest developments in medicine.

However, the current reporting of PBS expenditure in the Budget papers lacks transparency which makes a much-needed discussion about the true level of funding for new medicine listings unnecessarily complex.

When rebates to government from medicines manufacturers are removed, expenditure on the PBS has been flat, or even declining in real terms, since 2011.

This has been a remarkable achievement made possible only with the help of the pharmaceutical industry. Medicines Australia has actively supported government in reducing prices it pays for medicines on the PBS, with the latest Strategic Agreement signed this year with the Commonwealth netting at least $1.8 billion in savings on PBS medicines over five years.

However, the lack of growth in funding is clearly unsustainable into the future. On its own, industry efforts to reduce prices will not be able to keep meeting the funding demands to list all recommended medicines by the PBAC over the longer term.

Australians want fast access to the latest medicines subsidised through the PBS. While industry will continue to deliver incredible value for money for those medicines, there is a looming challenge for all policymakers to ensure that Australians get access to the medicines they need when they need them.

If Australia with its ageing and growing population is to continue to enjoy world-class access to the latest innovations in medicines into the future, there needs to be a discussion about how to appropriately invest additional money into the PBS.

Medicines Australia believes this is a challenge that needs to be addressed by all sides of politics to ensure long-term predictability and sustainability of the PBS which is so cherished by the Australian people.

Ends

More information – Natalie Wimmer – nwimmer@medaus.com.au – 0450 728 660

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