Australia has this month cut the prices of 492 drug brands by 12.5% or 16%, saving consumers around A$20 million a year, say Ministers.
New moves to speed up the government's price disclosure policy begun in 2006 will save patients up to A$120 annually on the prices of some medicines supplied under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), and up to A$14.68 per prescription.
Price disclosure requires drugmakers to inform the government of the lower selling price which frequently results from competition for a PBS drug when its patent expires. The government then moves its level of subsidy in line with the average lower price.
The price disclosure cycle is being reduced from 18 months to 12 months, enabling savings of A$830 million over three years by reducing the gap between prices paid by pharmacists and the government for PBS-listed drugs.
The policy "is already expected to save patients up to A$1.6 billion over the next 10 years. With these additional price drops, savings to patients are expected to increase to more than A$2 billion over the next 10 years," said Health Minister Tanya Plibersek.