Pharma industry body wants urgent talks with Prime Minister

MEDICINES Australia (MA) has requested urgent talks with Prime Minister Julia Gillard over what it has described as a “breach” of the Government’s memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the industry.

The drastic step comes after MA slammed the Gillard Government’s recent decision to defer the addition of seven medications to the PBS.

The MOU, signed last year, outlined how the industry and Government were to work in cooperation over drug pricing and PBS listings.

In a letter obtained by MO, MA chair Will Delaat claims patients will now miss out on subsidies for potentially beneficial and life-changing medications despite recommendations by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) that the seven drugs be added to the PBS.

The Government’s indication that all applications for drugs to be added to the PBS would now require Cabinet approval also undermined pharmaceutical business certainty, he said.