Budget supports access to affordable medicines

The 2017-18 Budget delivers on the Turnbull Government’s commitment to guarantee Medicare and build the world’s best health system – where every Australian has access to the best doctors, nurses, hospitals and medicines.

We are firmly committed to ensuring Australians have access to medicines when they need them.

Member for Forrest Nola Marino and Health Minister Greg Hunt today visited South City Chemmart in Bunbury to meet with pharmacists and talk about the benefits for patients and pharmacies in this year’s Budget.

“The 2017-18 Budget includes a $10 billion package to invest in Australia’s health system and the health of Australians,” Mrs Marino said.

As part of the Budget, the Government has struck landmark agreements with Medicines Australia, the Pharmacy Guild and Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA).

“114 pharmacists in Forrest will benefit from the Turnbull Government’s Agreement with the Pharmacy Guild which will deliver medicines reform and an $825 million investment to strengthen patient outcomes and community pharmacy,” Mrs Marino said.

“Australians will now have access to a wider range of services from their community pharmacy, including home visits to eligible patients to help them manage their medications.”

“The Government is reducing the cost of medicines by $1.8 billion over five years to make medicines more affordable.”

We are immediately delivering on this commitment in the 2017–18 Budget with $514.6 million to list Sacubitril with Valsartan (Entresto®) for patients with chronic heart failure.

“This will benefit more than 60,000 Australians every year who currently pay around $2,000 per year for this medicine. Concession patients will now only pay around $6.30 per script and non-concession patients will pay $38.80,” Mrs Marino said.

Our careful management of PBS spending means that we are able to list new, effective medicines on the PBS when they become available.

“Australia’s PBS is one of the foundations of our universal health care system, which is the envy of most countries,” Minister Hunt said.

The Pharmacy Guild, Medicines Australia and GBMA agreements include one-off price reductions for certain medicines that have been on the PBS for 10 and 15 years, ongoing reductions in more PBS drug prices and support for the uptake of lower-cost generic and biosimilar medicines, in return for reinvestment in future drug listings.

“We want Australians to continue to have access to the best health care system in the world – and a strong, sustainable, best clinical practice Medicare is essential to this,” Minister Hunt said.

“The Turnbull Government is delivering on our rock solid commitment to Medicare in the 2017-18 Budget.”