The Government’s Economic Statement included an unexpected $2 billion reduction in expenditure on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
Shadow Health Minister Peter Dutton said Minister Plibersek must immediately explain the surprise reduction.
“The Minister must explain what consultation occurred, if any, with the pharmaceutical sector, patient groups and clinicians on the changes, or was this more policy on the run to fill Labor’s Budget black hole?
The Government made a $1.9 billion saving in the 2010 Budget in return for promised policy certainty. Within months, Labor deferred the listing of new medicines on the PBS that had been recommended by its own expert committee.
“This is a sector that depends on long term investment. Labor’s history of making unexpected changes has continually undermined confidence and may cause companies to reconsider the demanding process of listing new medicines in Australia, ultimately jeopardising patient access,” Mr Dutton said.
Media contact: Tom Fleming 0437 250 045