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Thursday, 29 November 2012
Page: 10210


Senator JACINTA COLLINS (VictoriaManager of Government Business in the Senate and Parliamentary Secretary for School Education and Workplace Relations) (12:04): I seek leave to make a brief statement.

The PRESIDENT: Leave is granted for one minute.

Senator JACINTA COLLINS: There has been a lot of misleading information about this matter. Contrary to the claims contained in this motion, patient services have not been disrupted. Taxpayers have been paying inflated prices for docetaxel, an older, off-patent chemotherapy. It is time the government paid the market price, and consistent with the bipartisan price disclosure policy the price will come down on 1 December. The Gillard government has a strong record of delivering for cancer patients. Since 2007, at an additional cost of $1.3 billion, the government has listed 30 new medicines to treat 15 different types of cancers, saving many patients over $5,000 per treatment. By paying less for older medicines like docetaxel, the government is able to continue to list new cancer medicines. The government will also continue working in good faith with the Pharmacy Guild, consumers, independent hospitals and private health insurers to ensure chemotherapy services are sustainable and the government will not be supporting this inconsistent and factually incorrect motion. (Time expired)

Question agreed to.