Tuesday October 25, 2022
In its first Federal Budget, the Albanese Government tonight prioritised Australian patients by addressing medicine affordability and shortages.
The peak body for affordable medicines, the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) congratulated the Treasurer, the Hon Jim Chalmers MP, for unveiling reforms that were aimed at mitigating the impact of rising inflation on struggling Australians.
The Independent Chair of the GBMA, Professor Jane Halton AO PSM, welcomed the funding of the Government’s key election commitment to shave $12.50 from the general co-payment for medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). For a family taking two to three medications, this could be a saving of more than $450 a year.
“This first Budget of the new Labor Government acknowledges just how tough Australians are doing with rising inflation continuing to hurt at the hip pocket,” Professor Halton said. “Making medicines, cheaper for non-concessional patients and subsidising more expensive treatments, is a difficult but important balance that the Government has achieved.”
“Right now, patients and taxpayers reap the benefits of nearly two thirds of the PBS volume being delivered by the generic and biosimilar medicines sector,” Professor Halton said. “We know we can create even greater fiscal relief, for the economy and at the hip pocket, with smart policies that drive more and more biosimilars onto the PBS.”
CEO of the GBMA, Ms Marnie Peterson, said with a Budget uniquely framed by rising inflation, the GBMA’s commitment to drive a greater uptake of biosimilars was strongly aligned to the Government’s agenda of restoring balance to overwhelmed health coffers.
The Federal Budget also included the policy levers needed to better protect Australians against medicine shortages. From July next year, members of the affordable medicines sector will be empowered to increase their respective stockpile buffers of medicines to four to six months. This initiative was the cornerstone of the GBMA’s five-year Strategic Agreement.
“The GBMA looks forward to working with the Government to continue to develop smart policies that ensures all Australians can continue to access affordable, high-quality medicines, whenever they need them,” Ms Peterson said. ENDS
The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) is the peak representative body of generic and biosimilar medicine suppliers in Australia. Its members ensure that all Australians are offered high quality generic and biosimilar medicines, whilst providing affordable community health outcomes that benefit all Australians.