Challenges and opportunities for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

Philip M Clarke
Med J Aust 2012; 196 (3): . || doi: 10.5694/mja12.10092
Published online: 20 February 2012

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.

  • Centre for Health Policy, Programs and Economics, School of Population Health, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, VIC.


I was funded by a National Health and Medical Research Council Career Development Award (ID 571122).

Competing interests:

No relevant disclosures.


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