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NATIONAL HEALTH AMENDMENT (PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME) E BILL 2010

Order of the day read for the adjourned debate on the motion of the Minister for Small Business (Senator Sherry)—That this bill be now read a second time—and on the amendment moved by Senator Fierravanti-Wells:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the further consideration of the bill be an order of the day for the first sitting day after:

  (a) the Government sets aside the memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between the Government and Medicines Australia on 6 May 2010;

  (b) the Government has entered into a fresh set of negotiations to develop a new MOU which will secure the identified $1.9 billion cost savings or other potential savings to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme;

  (c) all parties possessing a material interest in the outcome of the proposed reforms or whose material interests are affected by the reforms, including the members of the Generic Medicines industry Association, the Pharmacy Guild of Australia and the National Pharmaceutical Services Association, have been consulted in the negotiations for a new MOU; and

  (d) the Government has circulated in the Senate amendments to the bill to reflect the contents of the new MOU".

Debate resumed.


Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put.

The Senate divided—

AYES, 29

Senators—

Adams (Teller)

Back

Barnett

Bernardi

Birmingham

Boswell

Boyce

Bushby

Cash

Colbeck

Cormann

Fierravanti-Wells

Fifield

Humphries

Johnston

Kroger

Macdonald

Mason

McGauran

Minchin

Nash

Parry

Payne

Ronaldson

Ryan

Scullion

Troeth

Trood

Williams

NOES, 31

Senators—

Bilyk

Bishop

Brown, Bob

Brown, Carol

Cameron

Collins

Crossin

Farrell

Feeney

Fielding

Forshaw

Furner

Hanson-Young

Hogg

Hurley

Hutchins

Ludlam

Lundy

Marshall

McEwen (Teller)

McLucas

Milne

Moore

Polley

Pratt

Sherry

Siewert

Stephens

Sterle

Wortley

Xenophon

Question negatived.

Senator Siewert moved the following amendment:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate calls on the Government:

  (a) to ensure that there is an annual report to Parliament on all available data on under co-payment products, including the drug name and form, the quantities dispensed;

   (b) to table a copy of the annual report by the Access to Medicines Working Group to the Minister for Health and Ageing on the progress and implementation of the memorandum of understanding signed between the Government and Medicines Australia on 6 May 2010, commencing not later than 1 January 2011; and

  (c) to conduct a study of the affordability of prescription medication and access to medicines, including the use of generic medicines".

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and passed.

Senator Xenophon, by leave and also on behalf of the Leader of the Family First Party (Senator Fielding), moved the following amendment:

 At the end of the motion, add "but the Senate calls on the Government to:

  (a) request advice from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee on any new evidence on whether or not two medicines, rosuvastatin and atorvastatin, should be included in the existing statins therapeutic group;

  (b) examine whether there are any barriers to generic medicines entering the market through the inappropriate use of intellectual property rights over product information, building on work currently underway, and to table a report by 30 June 2011 on these barriers and appropriate mechanisms to address them; and


  (c) convene a discussion every six months until 1 July 2014, with the Pharmacy Guild of Australia, the National Pharmaceutical Services Association, the Generic Medicines industry Association and Medicines Australia on the impact of the reforms in this bill and any unintended consequences or relevant issues and to table a report on this discussion every six months".

Statements by leave: Senators Xenophon and Fierravanti-Wells, by leave, made statements relating to the matter.

Question—That the amendment be agreed to—put and passed.

Main question, as amended, put and passed.

Bill read a second time.

The Senate resolved itself into committee for the consideration of the bill.

In the committee

Bill, taken as a whole by leave, debated and agreed to.

Bill to be reported without amendment.

The Acting Deputy President (Senator Forshaw) resumed the chair and the Temporary Chair of Committees reported accordingly.

On the motion of the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers (Senator McLucas) the report from the committee was adopted and the bill read a third time.