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Wednesday, 6 November 1985
Page: 1649

Senator COLSTON —Has the attention of the Minister representing the Minister for Health been drawn to the Industries Assistance Commission draft report on pharmaceutical products? Does the report propose that, for those currently receiving free pharmaceuticals, a user contribution towards the cost of each drug purchased be introduced, together with a special supplement to pensioners of $25 per year to compensate for this contribution? Whilst acknowledging that this is only a draft report which will require public discussion before a final report is released, has the Government given this matter any consideration?

Senator RYAN —I am aware that there is a draft report from the IAC on pharmaceutical products. My attention has been drawn to it. The draft report recommends, amongst other things, that pensioners make a co-payment of $2 per pharmaceutical benefit item to a maximum of $50 per annum and that the pension be increased by $25 to accompany the introduction of the co-payment. Consideration is being given to the potential impact of the draft recommendations. The Government has not formed any view on it yet.