Government stands firm on F1 medicine changes

The Australian Government remains committed to ensuring Australians continue to have affordable access to the latest medicines.

Page last updated: 24 June 2015

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23 June 2015

The Abbott Government remains committed to ensuring Australians continue to have affordable access to the latest medicines.

The Abbott Government has more-than-doubled the number of new and amended drug listings on the PBS to over 660 – worth a total of almost $3 billion since September 2013 – when compared to Labor’s 331 listings during their last three-year term in office.

This includes $1.3 billion worth of new listings in our 2015/16 Budget to treat melanoma, breast cancer, blindness and the debilitating shingles virus.

Today’s passing of the Abbott Government’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Access and Sustainability Reform Package presents significant savings in the price of medicines for consumers and taxpayers.

The Government has consulted widely across the entire pharmaceutical supply chain, including consumers, doctors, pharmacists, wholesalers and medicines manufacturers, and has subsequently secured strategic agreements with Generic Medicines industry Association and the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, which we announced back in May.

This includes measures that will promote greater use of cheaper generic medicines for patients.

The Government has also negotiated in good faith with Medicines Australia and their individual member companies throughout this process over the past few months.

We’ve presented a real opportunity for MA to deliver a fair and positive agreement that provides certainty for their sector. On June 19, Medicines Australia rejected the Government’s best offer.

While this is disappointing, the Government is comfortable it has put forward a fair and considered reform package for consumers, taxpayers, pharmacists and the medicines industry alike.

This includes pursuing changes to the way F1 (patent-protected) medicines are priced and continuing to accept the independent advice of the expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee without fear or favour.

Today’s passage of the Government’s PBS reform package without amendment in the Senate is recognition of this and supports the Government standing firm on behalf of consumers and taxpayers.

The Abbott Government remains committed to listing new drugs as quickly as possible for patients and looks forward to continuing to work with Medicines Australia and its members to deliver this and to encourage future innovation.

10 Key Examples of Medicines Listed by the Abbott Government since its Election in September 2013***listed in order of cost per patient***

    • Soliris (2014) – Atypical Haemolytic-Uraemic Syndrome (rare immune disease) – $63 million$500,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Kayldeco (2014) – Cystic Fibrosis – $174 million$300,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Mekinist (2015) – Melanoma – $437 million$131,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Adcetris (2014) – Lymphoma – $15.2 millionover $110,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Perjeta, Herceptin and Kadcyla (2015) – Breast Cancer – $191 million combined$82,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Crizotinib (2015) – Lung Cancer – $60 million$80,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Lemtrada (2015) – Relapsing, Remitting Multiple Sclerosis – $50 million$70,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Afinitor (2014) – Kidney Cancer – $45.1 million$35,680 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Abraxane (2014) – Pancreatic Cancer – $92 million$16,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
    • Lucentis (2015) – Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO) and Diabetic Macular Oedema (DME) (blindness) – $541 million$10,000 per patient if not subsidised through the PBS
Listing these medicines on the PBS means patients pay just the PBS co-payment, with taxpayers covering the difference in the cost of treatment. For example, a patient using Soliris – which costs $500,000 per patient – now pays just $6.10 if they are a concession card holder or $37.70 if they are a general patient as a result of the drug being listed on the taxpayer-funded PBS.

ENDS

Media Contact: Troy Bilsborough 0427 063 150

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