Government-subsidised access to effective medicines in Australia is provided via the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Decisions to subsidise medicines are based on assessment of cost-effectiveness (“value for money”) by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).1 In effect, the PBS is “purchasing” health outcomes. As the majority of medicine use is publicly funded via the PBS, there is an obligation to monitor the outcomes to determine whether the expected health improvements are actually realised.
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