Govt reverses decision on 48 PBS drug deferrals

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 last week along with a promise not to defer any drugs recommended for listing by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in the next 12 months, for drugs costing less than $10 million a year.

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 announcement means schizophrenia medication Invega Sustenna, pain medication Targin, and Botox (for severe axillary hyperhidrosis), all of which were deferred from listing in February, will now be available on the PBS.

But the