293 medicines face PBS price cuts

Things are about to get tougher for pharmacists, with the prices of 293 medicines to be cut from October as part of the next round of PBS reductions.

Among the drugs hit by the cuts are atorvastatin (Lipitor – 30%), duloxetine (Cymbalta – 24%), paclitaxel (Taxol – 47%), rosuvastatin (Crestor – 21%), sildenafil (Viagra – 24%) and Topiramate (Topamax – 26%.

The biggest cut is for anthracycline chemotherapy drug epirubicin, the PBS price of which will fall 82%.

The October price disclosure cycle is the first to remove the price of the original brand from the weighted average. This means the brand will remain available on the PBS, but will be subsidised at the weighted average price of the generics.

About 200 medicines in the October cycle have had their originator brand removed from the price calculation.

In addition, the October cycle is the second cycle to