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Friday, 26 May 1989
Page: 2849


Senator COOK —On 24 May Senator Watson asked me a question in my representational role of Minister representing the Minister for Community Services and Health. I am in a position to answer that question now. At the outset, it is necessary to make it clear that the drug Pantheline is not one affected by the Government's generic pricing policy. This drug is unavailable because the manufacturer has decided not to release further batches as it was unable to comply with revised standards for quality control set by the Department of Community Services and Health. Having given the manufacturer a reasonable period to overcome the problem, the Department has recently arranged for an alternative brand to be listed on the pharmaceutical benefits schedule (PBS). This alternative product will be available with the next reprinting of the PBS effective from 1 August 1989.

Calmazine was the alternative brand of trifluoperazine that remained as a pharmaceutical benefit following the delisting of the major brand Stelazine. Stelazine was delisted on 1 April as part of the Government's generic pricing policy. Protea, the supplier of Calmazine, has been contacted to ascertain the current supply position. Protea maintains that supplies are available and at no stage was Calmazine out of stock. Further, the company has advised that there is no wholesaler awaiting stock. In any event, the two-milligram strength Stelazine tablet is still a PBS item.

The Department of Community Services and Health has been monitoring the stockholding of this and other products which have remained listed following the delisting of a number of major brands on 1 April 1989. This monitoring confirms that stocks of Calmazine are available. In addition the Department has not received any complaints from wholesalers who undertook to advise the Department should supply difficulties arise.

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