Govt failing to invest in new medicines

In a speech to an industry conference yesterday, Medicines Australia CEO Dr Brendan Shaw said the former Labor government had failed to use savings from the price disclosure scheme for their intended purpose – funding new products.

Instead, the former government had used the savings to buffer treasury coffers.

“The whole point of PBS reform and price disclosure, agreed by all sides of politics since the middle of the last decade, was to use those savings to fund new medicines for the Australian community,” Dr Shaw said.

“But today it appears that while the savings from price disclosure are pouring into the Treasury coffers, they are not being re-invested in new therapies for the Australian community.”

Dr Shaw said recent economic statements had downwardly revised expected spending on the PBS – even after the commonwealth spent $857 million less on medicines in 2012/13.

And the cuts looked set

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