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Articles on PBS

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New treatments have minimal side effects and cure rates of over 90%. Dubova/Shutterstock

Eliminating hepatitis C – an ambitious but achievable goal

Hepatitis C is a hidden epidemic affecting 170 million people worldwide. Hepatitis C kills nearly 700 Australians every year, mostly from chronic liver failure and liver cancer, and costs over $78.9 million…
The challenge for the ABC as it faces political opposition is to remind taxpayers of the good value it represents and of the public service journalism it creates. AAP/Dave Hunt

What would the Australian media look like without the ABC?

The Abbott government is preparing to cut funding to the ABC. The end of the Australia Network in its present form is one saving already flagged by communications minister Malcolm Turnbull. And while the…
Before a new drug can be tested in humans it must undergo comprehensive preclinical screening and testing. Flickr / SandiaLabs

Where’s my cure for cancer?

It seems that every week a major breakthrough in the understanding of cancer is announced in the media. So where are all the drugs that should flow from these discoveries? Unfortunately, the road from…
Three consumer organisations have recently joined forces to campaign for cheaper medicines. Waleed Alzuhair

Should only pharmacists profit from falling drug prices?

The Consumers Health Forum has just launched a website containing information about the cost of generic drugs in Australia compared to other countries. Each day, Australians pay A$3 million more for these…
Several factors, including if the effects of the medicine are worth its cost, help decide whether a drug is subsidised by the government. Tetiana Yurchenko/Shutterstock

Why some drugs are publicly subsidised and others are not

Decisions whether to publicly fund new drugs or not are often tough. Should the government fund a drug that has promising early results or wait until its effects and safety issues are better understood…
The Australian government pays $50 a month for a drug that costs $2 a month in New Zealand.

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…
This class of drug poses significant risks of misuse and dependence, paradoxical reactions, disinhibition, amnesia and intoxication. Jacek Becela

Why the TGA should make it harder for people to get Xanax

The body responsible for regulating drugs in Australia, the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), is poised to decide whether to restrict access to benzodiazepines, such as Xanax, Valium and Normison…
There’s no requirement for pharmacies receiving taxpayers’ money to do anything more than dispense medicines. Ian Broyles

Pharmacy gravy train drives up the cost of prescription drugs

The retail pharmacy industry in Australia has successfully acquired a monopoly on supplying medicines paid for by the government or consumers. The industry describes this set-up as being the “best subsidized…
There’s no reason the Australian taxpayer should pay such high prices for medicines when our overseas cousins don’t. Image from

Fixing Australia’s bad drug deal could save $1.3 billion a year

The Commonwealth could save A$1.3 billion each year by reforming the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), according to a report released today by the Grattan Institute. The report, Australia’s bad drug…
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…
Recent surveys show many Australians have not filled a prescription because of cost. Robert S. Donovan

Why automating the PBS safety net will be good for everyone

A growing number of people globally live with chronic illness. By the time they reach 65, most Australians have at least one chronic condition and 80% have three or more. Pharmaceutical treatment is often…
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Boys to receive Gardasil HPV vaccine

Boys are likely be offered subsidised vaccinations against the sexually transmitted, wart and cancer-causing human papillomavirus…
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. 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…
The government has made a mistake by not listing pain drug Targin on the PBS. J Hawk

Scrimping on pain drugs is bad medicine and worse economics

In an attempt to contain growing health costs, the Australian Government has resisted recommendations to subsidise the pain medication Targin on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Schedule. Not only is this a…

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