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Tuesday, 7 May 1968

Dr Everingham (CAPRICORNIA, QUEENSLAND) asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

1.   Is he able to say in which countries the list of pharmaceutical benefits available to most of the population at less than half retail market price corresponds more to the list of items available to (a) service pensioners than to (b) nonpensioners in Australia?

2.   If so, in each of those countries, how does the annual cost of prescriptions, as a percentage of the gross national product, compare with similar costs for (a) service pensioners and (b) nonpensioners in Australia, (i) including all items prescribed and (ii) including only prescriptions for which the patient pays less than half the retail cost, or no charge?

3.   What proportion of Australians are included as (a) service pensioners and (b) non-pensioners for the purposes of these questions?

4.   In the case of pharmaceutical benefits prescribable as such on each occasion only on specific written departmental authority, can he say what is the Australian retail price, including recording, labelling and dispensing charges, as a percentage of (a) the retail price in the country of manufacture and (b) the manufacturer's price in the country of manufacture to the major wholesale supplier for Australia?

Dr Forbes - The answers to the honourable member's questions are as follow:

1.   2. 3. and 4. Information which would enable me to answer the honourable member's question is not held by my Department

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