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Expiry of patent protection on statins: effects on pharmaceutical expenditure in Australia

Liliana Bulfone
Med J Aust 2010; 193 (3): 186-187.
Published online: 2 August 2010

To the Editor: Although Clarke and Fitzgerald’s claim that prices for generic medicines in Australia are high compared with prices in other countries1 is valid, their claim that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme expenditure on statins could be reduced by up to $9.31 billion, by increasing the proportion of generic prescriptions to 100% and paying equivalent prices to those in England, is problematic. For the proportion of generic prescriptions to be increased to 100%, the available generic statins would need to be directly substitutable for currently available statins, including those whose patents have not yet expired (eg, atorvastatin and rosuvastatin).

  • Liliana Bulfone

  • Deakin Health Economics, Deakin University, Melbourne, VIC.


Competing interests:

I have provided advice to AstraZeneca for a submission to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority for rosuvastatin.

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