FOR the first time in its 75-year history, the maximum cost of general scripts under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will fall.
Under a Bill tabled by the Australian Government in Parliament, from January 1 many Australians will pay almost 30 per cent less for PBS scripts, with the maximum general co-payment dropping from $42.50 to $30.
This means that someone taking one medication a month could save as much as $150 every year, or for two or three medications as much as $300-$450 a year.
The maximum cost to general patients for PBS medications has doubled since 2000.
This change fulfils the Government’s election promise to cut the cost of medicines and ease cost of living pressures for Australians.
National President of the Pharmacy Guild of Australia Professor Trent Twomey said patients continue to tell community pharmacies of the increasing pressures of having to choose between food on the table
and medicine for their family.
“Community pharmacies around the country thank and welcome the action taken by the Government to cut the out of pocket cost patients pay for medicines on the PBS,” Professor Twomey said.
Federal Member for Blair, Shayne Neumann, said the legislation was great news and would make many
medicines cheaper for patients in Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs area.
“The Government is serious about delivering on our election commitments and easing the cost of living pressures left by the former government.
“The ABS advises that the high costs of medications meant close to 1 million Australians delayed or didn’t fill their medications in 2019- We must do better than this and we will.
“The fact is many people who experience chronic health issues in our community rely on medications to stay healthy.
“Cutting their price by nearly one third will mean they can afford to get the medications they need without worrying so much about the price.
“This change will put close to $200 million back in the pockets of Australians every year,” he said.
Mr Neumann said the Albanese Government was also delivering for the 940 people living with type one diabetes (T1D) in Blair.
“The Government has committed to reimburse lifesaving and life changing Continuous and Flash Glucose Monitoring (CGM) technology for all Australians living with T1D.
“These technologies make managing T1D safer, easier, and more effective, but for many people the cost was previously prohibitive.
“This commitment means that since the July 1 this year, all people with T1D in Blair can now apply to access these products at the subsidised rate, with a maximum cost equivalent to $32.50 per month.
“Previously, at least 524 of these people in Blair would have missed out due to the cost.
“There is a lot more research to be done to finally rid the world of T1D, but this measure will help keep people with T1D safer and healthier through access to the best possible management technologies in the meantime,” Mr Neumann said.
T1D is a lifelong autoimmune condition that strikes through no fault of the individual, most commonly diagnosed in children and adolescents.