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Thursday, 27 April 1972
Page: 1413

Senator WILLESEE asked the Minister for Health, upon notice:

Are drug manufacturers discontinuing the discounts previously available to wholesalers; if so (a) will this cause a further rise in drug prices of at least 6 per cent, and (b) will this rise be in addition to the average price rise of 33 per cent which drug manufacturers have exacted since the Budget last August.

Senator Sir KENNETH ANDERSON The answer to the honourable senator's question is as follows: i am informed that some drug manufacturers have recently reduced the margins they allow wholesalers for handling their products.

(a)   At this stage it is not clear what the overall effect of such moves might be, but i am keeping the situation under close examination.

(b)   While there have been price increases in some pharmaceutical benefit items since the Budget, there has not been an average price rise of the order of 33 per cent, as suggested in the question.

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