May 4, 2022

Thousands of people in Wide Bay will save $10 on prescription medicine, with a re-elected Liberals and Nationals Government to slash the price of medications listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme (PBS) from January 1 next year.

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said a re-elected Morrison Government will reduce the maximum price of PBS medicines from $42.50 down to $32.50 per script, a total saving of $150 million per year.

“This is the first time that any government has done this, and it means that people will be paying less for common medications including for blood pressure, high cholesterol, arthritis, pain relief, depression, diabetes and more,” Mr O’Brien said.

“People who take one medication a month could save $120 a year, or two medications would be a saving of $240 a year – putting that money back into the pockets of Australian families and helping ease cost of living pressures.

“Only the Liberals and Nationals team has a strong record of delivering affordable, life-saving medications for all Australians because by delivering a strong economy, we can invest even more in Medicare and making PBS prescriptions more affordable.”

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Greg Hunt, said no other Government had reduced the PBS General Co-payment and this change could benefit the more than 19 million Australians without a concession card each year.

“In contrast, Labor stopped listing medicines on the PBS in 2011, including medicines for severe asthma, chronic pain, schizophrenia, blood clots, IVF, endometriosis and prostate conditions.” Minister Hunt said.

Since 2013, the Coalition Government has approved more than 2,900 new or amended listings on the PBS at an overall investment of around $16.5 billion.

“By listing these medications on the PBS, the Coalition Government is ensuring Australians can access affordable medications that would otherwise cost thousands, or hundreds of thousands of dollars – ensuring these life-saving and life-changing medicines are within reach of everyday people in Wide Bay,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In contrast to the Coalition’s record investment in affordable medicines and cost of living relief, Labor had to stop listing medicines on the PBS in 2011 last time they were in Government, because they could not manage money.”

In the 2022-23 Budget, the Coalition invested a further $2.4 billion for new and amended PBS listings including treatments for breast cancer, cystic fibrosis, severe eczema, asthma, spinal muscular atrophy, HIV infection and heart failure.

The Morrison Government also invested over $525 million to make medicines more affordable for 2.4 million Australians by lowering the PBS Safety Net threshold from 1 July 2022 benefiting concession card holders and general patients. 

Under the changes, concessional patients will reach the PBS Safety Net with 12 fewer filled scripts. For general patients, it’s two fewer scripts – saving over $80 a year before they are eligible to receive free or further subsidised PBS medicines.

A re-elected Morrison Government will continue our policy to list all medicines on the PBS that are recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

Only the Coalition has a plan to build a strong economy and a stronger future.



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