Govt backdown on PBS listings

CONSUMER and pharmaceutical industry groups have welcomed a government backdown on PBS listings that will see 48 medicines, including all medicines deferred from listing in February, included on the scheme from 1 December.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced the new listings this morning along with a promise from the government not to defer any drugs recommended for listing by the PBAC that would cost less than $10 million a year for the next 12 months.

In return, the Consumers Health Forum, Generic Medicines Industry Association and Medicines Australia have agreed to work with the government on the future management of deferrals and to find ways to keep the costs of the PBS down.

The government however reserved judgement on dabigatran (Pradaxa), and will wait for a review of options for improving the health outcomes of patients treated with anticoagulation therapies before making a decision on whether to list it on the scheme.