Consumers benefit from price disclosure

20 March, 2014

reference :


Consumers benefit from price disclosure
Australian consumers and taxpayers are the winners in the latest round of Pharmaceutical Benefits
Scheme price
cuts to take effect from 1 April.
The new price reductions affecting 121 medicines flow from the price disclosure mechanism
which was originally introduced into the PBS pricing system in 2007, with the
support of
Pharmacy Guild
. It
has since been acce
lerated twice
through measures determined independently
of the Guild and community pharmacies
The price disclosure arrangements ensure that the price paid by the
for medicines on
the PBS is brought into line with the market price
through a mon
itoring process. This process has
delivered significant savings to the Commonwealth Budget, to taxpayers, and directly to
Unfortunately, a report in several News Limited newspapers this morning misrepresented the role
of pharmacists in the pro
cess, incorrectly clai
ming that the price cuts were
a result of the
Government stopping “overpayments” to pharmacies.
This is an unfair slur
on hard
working pharmacists who continue to provide PBS medicines at the
best possible price to patients within a
system in which they have no control over the PBS price
which is determined by Government.
The vast majority of prescriptions dispensed under the PBS
are directly subsidised and therefore the price
to the consumer (the co
is identical no
which PBS approved pharmacy supplies the prescription.
As a result of the
further accelerated
price disclosure arrangements
coming into effect next
financial year
will have
to reduc
staff and costs as much as possible to remain
viable. It is blatantly unfair that the reputation of these caring health professionals
should be
damaged by false assertions that they have somehow been “overpaid” by Government, when in
fact they have been
operating with the price disclosure price cuts and have no capacity
whatsoever to vary PBS prices.
The 1 April price cuts are further evidence that Australian health care consumers continue to be
very well served by the PBS and by the network of 5300
community pharmacies.