“Today, many of us are personally affected by our PBS-subsidized health and productivity drugs, and we all have parents, friends and voters who rely on the program to get the drugs they need. The agreement provides that there will be no further price changes to Formula F2 and that the Department of Health and the PGA will work together to quickly identify and resolve the unintended consequences of budget savings, particularly when they can have an impact on the reliable supply of essential and affordable medicines for Australian patients. The recent study on the impact of a significant increase in co-payment concluded that the increase in patient contributions had a particular impact on the ability of dealers to afford drugs. This is an impact that should be of concern to policy makers. The implementation in 2015 of the recent reforms to the PBS package on access and sustainability has led to significant changes in the cost of medicines to the state. These changes have allowed PBS to remain fiscally affordable and sustainable in the future. On April 27, 2017, the government signed a five-year strategic agreement with Medicines Australia, in which both parties recognize the commitment to a viable pharmaceutical sector in Australia and a sustainable PBS. The 2016-2017 federal budget confirms that the drug efficacy program is stable and will continue to ensure that Australian patients have access to safe and effective medicines after years of significant drug reforms in this sector. The Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) has signed a strategic agreement with the Australian government to support the supply of affordable generic and biosimilar drugs in Australia and provide a five-year security period for the industry that supplies them. This agreement has been extended for a further two years. The extension document can be viewed at the bottom of this page. Access to medicines for Australian health consumers is supported by the national pharmaceutical policy introduced in 1999.
The national pharmaceutical policy has four main objectives: “Whenever a patient or health care professional uses a generic drug or a biosimilar, it saves money that can be used for newer drugs. GMiA members have and will continue to provide billions of dollars in PBS savings,” said Mark Crotty, President of GMiA (2015). “The GMiA and the government have a common interest in continued and reliable access to affordable generic drugs and biosimilars, a strong PBS capable of meeting the current and future needs of Australians, and a sustainable generic drug sector,” he said. The Commission`s reference to the New Zealand pharmaceutical system ignores the shortcomings of the country`s tendering system, which limits the selection of medicines to patients and doctors, as well as the risk of drug shortages due to dependence on individual suppliers. The report uses a uniform medical comparison as an example, which contains outdated prices and does not recognize the lack of choice. The Australian government and Medicines Australia have signed a five-year strategic agreement committed to a viable pharmaceutical sector in Australia and a sustainable PBS. The agreement recognizes the essential role of generic drugs and biosimilars in providing affordable health care through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It also recognizes the significant savings that continue to be realized through generic drugs and biosimilars, first through competition and then through price disclosure. Since the end of 2017, Australia`s Department of Health and Medicines has been working together to meet the obligations under Article 10 of the strategic agreement. Improved processes and revisions to cost recovery agreements support the government`s commitment under the strategic agreement to improve transparency, timeliness and efficiency of drug system (PBS) system coverage processes.