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PBS reforms deliver savings but not new medicines

A new report, "The impact of further PBS reforms", was released today by Victoria University's Centre for Strategic Economic Studies,

The report's author, Dr Kim Sweeny said, "The report demonstrates that PBS reforms are working and will deliver as much as $18 billion in savings.

"Despite the savings, the report notes a significant decline in the number of new innovative medicines listed on the PBS since 2009-10. Access to innovative new medicines hit an historic low in 2011-12 with the lowest number of new medicines listed in 20 years.

"In 2011-12 and 2012-13 there were 15 and 16 new medicines listed while the average for the previous five years was around 30.

"A wave of price cuts due to the PBS reforms, has successfully driven down the prices paid by the Government and patients for medicines on the PBS. There is no doubt that successive reforms have created headroom for further investment in important new medicines in the future.

"As intended by the introduction of substantial reforms to the PBS, over the past seven years, projected overall PBS expenditure will remain constrained. It is evident that the impact of any new listings on the projected PBS expenditure is not likely to threaten the sustainability of the PBS.

Dr Sweeny said, "Those savings made can be use by Government to fund new medicines for Australian patients. There's no logical reason they shouldn't given the billions of dollars in PBS savings that are being delivered."

The Impact of further PBS reforms was commissioned by Medicines Australia and is available at


Media Contact:

Andy Gash,

Public Affairs Unit, Victoria University,

(03) 9919 4502; 0411 255 900; [email protected]

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