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PBS listings welcome, but drop the medicines price hike



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CATHERINE KING MP

SHADOW MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND MEDICARE MEMBER FOR BALLARAT

PBS LISTINGS WELCOME, BUT DROP THE MEDICINES PRICE HIKE

Labor is pleased that the reforms we introduced in Government are continuing to help Australians access more affordable medicine, with the latest round of PBS price reductions confirmed today.

The price reductions not only help consumers, they also enable the listing of new medicines on the PBS. We welcome the confirmation there will be eight new drugs listed, helping improve affordable access to more effective treatments.

In 2010 Labor introduced price disclosure arrangements, making further changes in 2013 to speed up the time in which applicable medicines are reduced on the PBS - saving both consumers and the government money.

As a result of Labor's reforms, drugs will become cheaper at the pharmacy counter quicker, with a positive impact on the Budget bottom line, freeing up funds to reinvest in new PBS listings.

Unfortunately the Turnbull Government still has a measure on the table to push up the price of all medicines on the PBS, making them more costly for millions of patients.

It doesn't make any sense for the Minister to be spruiking today's positive developments for consumers when his Government has a policy to increase the cost of life-saving drugs by up to $5, budgeted from July this year.

They need to drop this immediately if they want any credibility on making medicines more affordable.

SATURDAY, 25 MARCH 2017

MEDIA CONTACT: JOANNE CLEARY 0428816751