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31 Oct 2019

Senate estimates has revealed that only 227 new medicines have been listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme since the Coalition came to office in 2013, despite Health Minister Greg Hunt claiming 2,200 listings have been made.

Under questioning from Labor, Health Department officials confirmed that 1,354 listings were at no cost to the Government and of them, 316 were just price changes to existing subsidised medicines. Only 227 could be properly claimed as new medicines being listed, the Department confirmed. A new listing is when patients can get subsidised access to a medicine they previously were not able to.

Another 80 medicines recommend by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee remain unlisted.

Shadow Health Minister Chris Bowen subsequently said the Health Minister was patting himself on the back for PBS listings, but the actual figure of true new listings was 10 per cent of what the Government is claiming.

“All they’ve got is spin about medicines in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme,” Mr Bowen said.

“Well if Greg Hunt wants to claim credit for listings, he'll also be held to account for non listings.”



Published: 31 Oct 2019