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Tuesday, 25 May 1993
Page: 1190

Senator HERRON —My question is directed to the Minister for Family Services and the Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Status of Women. How many drugs have been approved by the Therapeutic Goods Administration for use in Australia by both men and women, and yet have been approved for public subsidy under the pharmaceutical benefits scheme for men only? Is this action by the Minister consistent with the policy of the Government in relation to sexual discrimination? When the same drug is used for both men and women, how can the Minister justify a situation where a man need pay only $15 for a subsidised drug which can cost a woman in excess of $400?

Senator CROWLEY —Mr President, this seems to be a matter of considerable gravity and importance. I will take that on notice and get a serious answer to the honourable senator as soon as I can.