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Analysis and Comment (6)

The Australian government pays $50 a month for a drug that costs $2 a month in New Zealand. The Australian government pays $50 a month for a drug that costs $2 a month in New Zealand. e-MagineArt.com/Flickr

Looking for an easy $260 million in savings? Reform the PBS

A government-appointed committee makes a recommendation that would save taxpayers $260 million within a year, but it’s ignored. And people at risk of heart attacks lose out. Let me explain via a ripping…
We need a more rational debate about how and where we spend our finite health budget. We need a more rational debate about how and where we spend our finite health budget. Image from shutterstock.com

Explainer: what is health rationing?

HEALTH RATIONING – a series which examines Australia’s rising health costs and the tough decisions governments must make to rein them it. Any mention of the “R” word in health care immediately brings to…
The biggest delay is arguably at the stage where sponsors can exert the most control over timing. The biggest delay is arguably at the stage where sponsors can exert the most control over timing. Chris Kelly

Why medicines take so much time to get listed on the PBS

The Australian government introduced a controversial delay to the approval process for subsidised medicines last year, in an attempt to cut costs. We decided to examine the timelines of the approval process…
Infants too young to receive the whooping cough vaccine are at greatest risk. Infants too young to receive the whooping cough vaccine are at greatest risk. flickr/rifqy

Does whooping cough vaccine for parents protect newborns (and who should pay for it)?

Recent news reports say the free whooping cough vaccine for parents to protect newborns will be discontinued because it is not effective. Parents who’ve been told this is an important step to protect their…
Dabigatran’s manufacturer didn’t provide PBAC with data comparing its effectiveness to the most inexpensive medication treating the same conditions. Dabigatran’s manufacturer didn’t provide PBAC with data comparing its effectiveness to the most inexpensive medication treating the same conditions. Harveyben

The tricks companies use to get over-priced drugs on the PBS

Boehringer Ingelheim, manufacturer of the expensive anti-clotting drug dabigatran, has initiated a lobbying campaign to get it listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The company’s efforts…
Uncertainty about how drugs will be listed on the PBS has patient groups, health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry worried. Uncertainty about how drugs will be listed on the PBS has patient groups, health professionals and the pharmaceutical industry worried. LadyofProcrastination/Wikimedia Commons

New PBS listing rule spooks pharma, doctors and patients

Any parent who watches kids' weekend footy knows that if the ref misses a breach of the rules, merry hell breaks loose. But referees are human and sometimes make errors. We forgive the odd one pretty quickly…