Sunday, March 17, 2013

Australia paying up to 64 times more than New Zealand for medications


Australia is wasting more than a billion dollars a year by paying up to 64 times too much for some prescription drugs, according to a former top federal health bureaucrat.
In a report for the Grattan Institute think tank, Stephen Duckett, a former secretary of the Commonwealth Health Department, compared drug prices paid by the federal government under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme with those paid by New Zealand and by the public hospital systems of two Australian states.
He found that if Australia paid the prices New Zealand pays for 62 identical drugs, it would save $1.1 billion a year. The Commonwealth would save $1.4 million a day if it paid New Zealand prices for the cholesterol-lowering drug atorvastatin, which is marketed by Pfizer under the name Lipitor.
The Commonwealth pays an average of 10 times as much as New Zealand for the top 10 drugs by volume. New Zealand's Pharmaceutical Management Agency is an independent expert body which purchases drugs from within a budget set by government.

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Posted via email from Jack's posterous

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