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Notice given 25 March 2009

Senator Cormann: To ask the Ministers listed below (Question Nos *1457-*1459)—

(1) Has the Minister considered increasing the $10 million threshold for Cabinet consideration for Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listings.

(2) What threshold levels have been considered.

 

 (3) Does the Minister consider the current threshold is causing unnecessary delays to the listing of pharmaceuticals on the PBS, particularly when those pharmaceuticals have already been assessed for cost effectiveness and meet the legislative requirements for listing on the PBS.

*1457† Minister representing the Treasurer

*1458† Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing

*1459 Minister representing the Minister for Finance and Deregulation

*1460  Senator Cormann: To ask the Minister representing the Minister for Health and Ageing—With reference to the positive recommendation, received in July 2008, from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) listing of Bevacizumab (Avastin) and Sunitinib malate (Sutent):

(1) What caused the delay in listing these products on the PBS.

(2) How does this delay promote the National Medicines Policy objective of access to medicines and the objective of the PBS to provide ‘reliable, timely and affordable access’ to pharmaceuticals.

(3) What steps have been taken by the Minister to advance the listing of Avastin and Sutent.