PBS drug listing deferral draws criticism

HEALTH Minister Nicola Roxon has come under fire for her government’s decision to defer listing seven medicines on the PBS despite the medicines falling under the $10 million threshold required for Cabinet approval.

The decision came despite recommendations from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee that they be included. 

The deferred medicines include combination medications oxycodone and naloxone, as well as budesonide and eformoterol.

Medicines Australia (MA) slammed the decision: chair Will Delaat said the unprecedented decision effectively meant all drugs would require cabinet approval before being subsidised for patients.

In a later speech, Mr Delaat said the “alarming move” would undermine patient access to medications.

Ms Roxon defended the decision, saying it honoured an agreement with MA to make a faster, more transparent process for approving the drugs.

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