Australians have access to more affordable and lifechanging medicines on PBS

The Hon Mark Butler MP

Minister for Health and Aged Care

From 1 October 2022, Australians will pay less at the pharmacy for new and updated medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) because of the Government’s Price Disclosure Policy.

A trip to the pharmacist will be cheaper for thousands of families, and will result in out of pocket savings of over $130 million for Australian patients and almost $930 million in savings for taxpayers.

Conditions where patients have access to cheaper medicines include: migraines, psoriatic arthritis, breast cancer, stomach ulcers and bipolar disorder.

Up to half a million patients with stomach ulcers or gastroesophageal reflux disease can now expect to pay a maximum $26.74 per script for esomeprazole 40 mg tablets, a saving of up to $6.84 per script.

From 1 October 2022, the Government is also listing additional medicines on the PBS to treat a number of conditions, including types of cancer and growth hormone deficiency in children.

This includes the listing of pembrolizumab (Keytruda®) which will be expanded to treat patients with squamous cell carcinoma of the head and neck. Without subsidy patients can pay more than $135,000 per course of treatment. An average of 500 patients per year could benefit from this expanded listing.

Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:

“Listing these drugs on the PBS will improve the lives of thousands of Australian patients and their families.

“The Government is making a trip to the pharmacy cheaper for thousands of Australians.

“And we will cut the cost of medications for millions of Australians by reducing the PBS co-payment from the current maximum of $42.50 per script, to a maximum of $30 per script from 1 January 2023.”

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