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Published on Nov 22, 2023 
Authored by Pfizer Communications Team

A Stronger PBS can give Australians faster access to medicines

The Australian Government subsidises the cost of medicines through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). The PBS allows Australians to have equitable, affordable access to medicines without having to pay the full price.

Innovative medicines and new technologies are continually being developed. However, even after they have been deemed safe and effective by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, Australians must wait for them to be listed on the PBS.

It can take more than a year for safe and effective medicines to be listed on the PBS. Meanwhile thousands of Australians continue to live with a health condition while they wait. 

But there is room for improvement to ensure patients can access new medicines faster.

The collaboration between the medicines industry and Government to help address the impact of COVID-19 demonstrates a shared commitment to make medicines and vaccines available to patients quickly.

A continued focus is needed to help Australians gain timely access to innovative treatments for diseases such as cancer, heart disease and diabetes.

Having timely access to medicines means patients could have better health outcomes, return to work sooner and enjoy an improved quality of life. It also means less pressure on primary care (including our GPs, pharmacists and other allied health professionals), as well as specialists and our hospitals, ensuring that our healthcare system can continue to meet the demands of a growing and ageing population. 

This is an important time for the future of access to medicines on the PBS. Australia’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) policies, methods and processes are under review. Now is the time for ambitious HTA reform to ensure the PBS keeps pace with advancements in medical science.

A Stronger PBS will help Australia adopt a more a more patient-centred approach. To receive further information and to show your support for the PBS, go to:

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