Cheaper medicine prices kick in

Australian patients and their families will save money after a mandated price reduction for 226 medicine brands listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) came into effect on Monday this week. 

The price cuts will save consumers and taxpayers more than $344 million pa and resulted from key federal government reforms.  

By law, pharmaceutical companies must reveal to the government the prices at which they sell multi-branded PBS medicines to wholesalers and pharmacies.

If the government is paying a significantly higher price, this is reduced to bring the PBS price closer to the general market price.

Prices were reduced on a total of 24 medicines, sold under 226 brand names.

Common medicines that will be cheaper for general (non-concessional) patients include:

  • Pregabalin: around 200,000 patients per year with neuropathic pain will now pay $33.38 per script, a saving of up to $6.12 per script;
  • Valsartan with hydrochlorothiazide: about 4,500 hypertension patients per year will now pay $23.96 per script, a saving of up to $2.18 per script; and
  • Dorzolamide: about 1300 glaucoma patients each year will now pay $19.18 for these eye drops, a saving of $3.02 per script. 

The federal government has subsidised almost $10 billion worth of new medicines in the past five years.

The full list of medicines now available at a cheaper price can be found at the Department of Health’s website

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