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No pruning of pharmaceutical benefits list



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PRESS STATEMENT BY THE MINISTER FOR HEALTH, MR RALPH HUNT .

NO PRUNING OF PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS LIST

The Minister for Health, Mr Ralph Hunt, announced today

that the Government had decided against pruning for purely

economic reasons the list of drugs available under the

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

As announced in the 1979 Budget, the Government had

sought the advice of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory

Committee (PBAC)on those drugs which the PBAC considered ~

had low priority for continued listing as Pharmaceutical

Benefits.

Mr Hunt said that, at that time, the Government was

considering the possibility of reducing Government expendi­

ture on Pharmaceutical Benefits by up to $20 million as

part of its program of economic restraint.

In deciding not to remove, purely for economic reasons,

drugs from the PBS list, the Government had taken into account

the hardship such deletions would have on the community in

general and the aged and disadvantaged groups in particular.

Mr Hunt said he particularly wanted to dispel any fears

that oral contraceptives were to be removed from the list.

'At no time has the Government shown any disposition

to delete oral contraceptives from the Pharmaceutical

Benefits. List1 , he said.

CANBERRA: 20 November 1979