Further PBS constraints predicted

INDUSTRY experts have warned bigger changes are ahead for the pharmaceutical industry, arguing the Federal Government’s decision to have Cabinet vet all PBAC recommendations to list medications on the PBS signals it is keen to pursue greater savings.

Datamonitor healthcare analyst Erin Brady told last week’s Future of the PBS conference in Sydney that while the Government’s decision had come as a shock to the industry, it was simply the latest step in ongoing Government efforts to control the growing cost of the scheme.

“Certainly it was a surprise [but] healthcare costs are growing enormously and for that reason we could expect further PBS reforms aimed at saving money.”

Speaking at the same conference, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said by doing so, however, the Government was playing politics with people’s health.

“The Government is penny pinching to get a Budget