Deferred PBS listing for drugs sparks new Senate inquiry

A SENATE inquiry is to examine the potential impacts of the deferred listing of a number of drugs on the PBS, following the Government’s decision to require Cabinet approval for any additions to the schedule. 

The inquiry follows lobbying from consumers and the pharmaceutical industry, who claimed the deferrals had left patients without life-changing drugs. Health Minister Nicola Roxon last week bowed to pressure and listed 13 of the deferred medicines on the PBS. 

The move has not been wholly celebrated by Medicines Australia. Acting chief executive Andrew Bruce said the ongoing requirement for Cabinet approval meant a PBS listing was still a “lottery”.