Academics suggest controversial PBS plan

Adelaide researchers have put forward a controversial proposal to slash PBS costs by $500 million a year.

The plan - which would be another blow to pharmacy income - is to effectively speed up the transition of so-called “me too” drugs onto the price disclosure listAt present, these drugs are not affected if they are still on patent when their comparator drug goes off patent.

Under the new model, these alternative drugs would be priced to match the off-patent comparator, despite still being on patent.

A review of 12 of the 68 pharmaceuticals, whose direct comparator moved to the price-disclosure list between 2008 and 2011, identified potential savings of $168 million, the researchers say.

“Annual savings over $500 million per year could be achieved by maintaining cost-minimisation across equally effective pharmaceuticals,” the researchers calculated.

“This would