Roxon defends shelving medicines destined for PBS

HEALTH minister Nicola Roxon has been forced to defend the Federal Government's decision to defer the listing of seven medicines on the PBS despite recommendations from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee that they be included.

The unprecedented announcement drew criticism last week from Medicines Australia and Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton, who argued that patients may not be able to afford the medicines without government subsidy and may have to forgo possible treatment.

The medicines deferred include combination medications oxycodone and naloxone (Targin) for chronic pain, as well as budesonide