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Thursday, 12 August 2004
Page: 26382

Senator HILL (Minister for Defence) (5:32 PM) —It is difficult to compare this with other agreements unless you have the other agreements on the table and see what is being conceded on both sides. As I said, we were determined to keep the PBS and our listing criteria, pricing structures and so forth out of this negotiation. Now Senator Allison is seemingly saying that we should have added new provisions in relation to the PBS. It might be that these academics want different approaches to the PBS, and within the Australian domestic debate we can have those arguments. But, because we control the PBS, there is no value added in saying so. The issue is what you are conceding. We did not have to concede those matters. Our right to set the prices for our own medicines has not been affected by this agreement or by the implementation law that we have before the chamber today.