This section contains facts, information and policy topics that GMiA have compiled pertaining to the Pharmaceutical sector.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is central to the delivery of medicines to all Australians. The generic medicines sector is an essential part of the PBS providing affordable access to high quality medicines to all Australians irrespective of where they live or their income level.
A generic medicine is equivalent to the original medicine in dosage, safety, strength, quality, the way it works, the way it is taken and the way it should be used. Generic medicines must meet strict Australian standards, including the same quality criteria and manufacturing standards as the original medicine.
Generic medicines have been available in Australia for almost 40 years, and widely supplied through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) for over 20 years. Generic medicines deliver the same health benefits as the original brands at a lower cost to government and the community.
Recent reforms have ensured the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is financially sustainable. Since 2008, more than $10 billion in price cuts have occurred. More than $18 billion in PBS savings are forecast from 2008 to 2017. These reforms have damaged the generic medicines industry more than any other stakeholder.
The Trans Pacific Partnership Agreeement is a free trade agreement currently being negotiated between 12 Asia-Pacific countries including Australia, the US and Japan. It seeks to realise the vision of free trade in the region. GMiA is concerned that adoption of US patent and pharmaceutical laws in the smaller economies of the negotiating countries will impede the ability of these nations to deliver affordable healthcare to their populations.