Price disclosure will only go part of the way to achieving lower prices for generic drugs
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) faces both challenges and opportunities. The challenges, which are well known, come when listing new pharmaceuticals. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) determines the cost-effectiveness of new drugs and recommends whether or not they should be listed on the PBS. Although there is no capped budget for the PBS, any drug the PBAC recommends for listing that is expected to cost more than $10 million per year must be approved by Cabinet. Budget pressures that last year caused the listing of several therapies for conditions including schizophrenia, chronic pain and severe asthma to be deferred1 are ongoing.
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- 2. Clarke PM, Fitzgerald EM. Expiry of patent protection on statins: effects on pharmaceutical expenditure in Australia. Med J Aust 2010; 192: 633-636. <MJA full text>
- 3. Australian Government and Medicines Australia. Memorandum of understanding. September 2010. http://www.pbs.gov.au/industry/useful-resources/memorandum/MOU-MA-Sep2010.pdf (accessed Jan 2012).
- 4. Medicare Australia. Explanation of PBS pricing. June 2011. Canberra: Australian Government, 2011. http://www.medicareaustralia.gov.au/provider/pubs/program/files/2526-explanation-of-pbs-pricing.pdf (accessed Feb 2012).
- 5. Australian Government Department of Health and Ageing. National Health (Weighted average disclosed price – main disclosure cycle) Determination 2011 (No. PB 80 of 2011). http://www.comlaw.gov.au/Details/F2011L02702 (accessed Jan 2012).
- 6. Clarke PM, Fitzgerald EM. Expiry of patent protection on statins: effects on pharmaceutical expenditure in Australia [letter]. Med J Aust 2011; 194: 53-54. <MJA full text>
- 7. Ontario Ministry of Health. Update ad: Ontario Drug Benefit Formulary/Comparative Drug Index No. 41. Effective January 19, 2012. http://www. health. gov.on.ca/english/providers/program/drugs/formulary/41_update _ad_20120111.pdf (accessed Jan 2012).
- 8. Pharmaceutical Management Agency (PHARMAC) (NZ). Notification: Approval of the listing of Dr Reddy’s brand of atorvastatin. 14 September 2011. http://www.pharmac.govt.nz/2011/09/14/2011-09%20Dr%20Reddy%27s% 20Atorvastatin%20notification.pdf (accessed Jan 2012).
- 9. Jackevicius CA, Chou MM, Ross JS, et al. Generic atorvastatin and health care costs. N Engl J Med 2012; 366: 201-204. Epub 2011 Dec 7.
- 10. Health and Social Care Information Centre, National Health Service (UK). Prescription cost analysis, England – 2010. 27 April 2011. http://www.ic.nhs.uk/statistics-and-data-collections/primary-care/prescriptions/prescription-cost-analysis-england--2010 (accessed Jan 2012).
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