Cheaper Medication for 850,000 Australians

More than 850,000 Australians will find their prescription medications cheaper from 1 December 2013.

Page last updated: 01 December 2013

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1 December 2013

More than 850,000 Australians will find their prescription medications cheaper from today.

Three medicines – one of which, Atorvastatin, is the most frequently prescribed medication on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) - will all drop in price.

Minister for Health Peter Dutton said Australians with high cholesterol, schizophrenia and depressive disorders will benefit from reduced prices for their PBS medicines.

“Patients with chronic conditions would experience big savings on Atorvastatin and several other medicines for which millions of prescriptions are issued each year,” Mr Dutton said.

“Savings on some Atorvastatin prescriptions could amount to $12.51 per script with the combined savings to patients using the medication amounting to $20 million a year.

“The savings to consumers from this common cholesterol drug will add up to $125 million over four years.”

The three drugs with price cuts for consumers from today are:

  • Atorvastatin used for patients with high cholesterol. Savings per script range from $5.58 to $12.51
  • Olanzapine used for schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. Saving per script up to $6.69
  • Venlafaxine used for major depressive disorders. Saving per script $7.03 to $10.60
Mr Dutton said the price cuts were the result of price disclosure rules introduced in 2007 by the Howard Government, which had so far saved the PBS around $5 billion.

“Not only do consumers benefit directly from cheaper drugs, they also benefit as these savings allow the PBS to subsidise innovative medicines,” Mr Dutton said.

Price disclosure requires pharmaceutical companies to reveal the prices they charge pharmacists for medicines, leading to adjustments in the cost of the drugs to the Government through the PBS.

Today’s price changes bring the number of medicines which have had PBS price cuts as a result of price disclosure to 142 medicines sold as 2,511 current brands.

Media contact: John Wiseman – 0401 776 108

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