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New PBS investment as PBS slows

The Chief Executive Officer of Medicines Australia, Mr Kieran Schneemann, has welcomed today's announcement that the Government has agreed to the PBS listing of new medicines.

"This is an outstanding result for the thousands of patients that suffer the severe and debilitating conditions of osteoporosis, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma and Hepatitis B that these new medicines treat, " Mr Schneemann said.

Medicines Australia supports the PBS, and is committed to ensuring it provides timely and affordable access to the medicines Australians need.

"The PBS is undergoing a period of significant change as patents covering many of the most commonly prescribed medicines expire, leading to more generics and lower prices," Mr Schneemann said.

As more medicines come off patent over the next couple of years, the PBS will continue to slow. The Government has acknowledged the slow down; revising down figures for 2005-06 by $426 million and $263 million in 2006-07.

"The PBS is now growing much less than the cost of Medicare, public hospitals, and the Private Health Insurance Rebate, and in 2005-06 is growing at well below the inflation rate.

"It is essential that the Government continues to invest in the PBS. The headroom for innovation has been created - these new listings simply return to the PBS a portion of the expected investment in medicines that was revised out of the PBS in the recent Budget.

"The Austrlaian community needs a PBS that takes advantage of the headroom for innovation to ensure we build a 21st century PBS that meets its objective of providing all Australians with timely and affordable access to the medicines they need when they need them," Mr Schneemann said.


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Contact: Paul Chamberlin
61-261-228-520
Research Australia
22-Jun-2006


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