Cutting deeply

graph made of medicines

Information released on next wave of price disclosure cuts, as the potential impact of a new PBS bill is revealed 

The latest round of price disclosure cuts – to be effective in April – have been released by the PBS.

Among the medicines to be impacted in the April 2018 price disclosure reduction cycle are:

  • Candesartan – various oral formulations to drop by 13.75%
  • Candesartan with hydrochlorothiazide – to drop by 12.52%
  • Celecoxib 100 & 200 mg tablets – down by 18.90%
  • Esomeprazole 20 & 40mg tablets and capsules – to drop by 42.46%
  • Fentanyl transdermal patches – down 13.04%
  • Naloxone injections – 26.37%
  • Olanzapine tablets and wafers in a range of sizes – down by 22.85%
  • Rosuvastatin – dropping by 23.03%
  • Sildenafil 20mg – down by 20.46%
  • Telmisartan 40 & 80mg – to drop by 34.04%
  • Telmisartan with hydrochlorothiazide – down by 14.51%
  • Zoledronic Acid – down by 29.12%

The TGA provided an additional table with the release to show how the price disclosure outcome will change should current proposed amendments to the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits—Budget and Other Measures) Bill 2017) , are passed by Parliament.

This bill includes a change to a 30% ‘unadjusted price reduction’ in certain circumstances.

The bill, introduced to parliament in October 2017, will increase the current statutory price reduction that applies when the first new brand of an existing pharmaceutical item is listed on the PBS, as well as extend and introduce statutory price reductions applying on certain anniversaries of an F1 formulary drug being listed on the PBS; introduce ministerial discretion in relation to the application of statutory price reductions in certain circumstances; and, make minor amendments to price disclosure arrangements.

Click here to see the full lists of impacted medicines. 

Previous Shoplifter comes back to fill script
Next Keeping to the script

NOTICE: It can sometimes take awhile for comment submissions to go through, please be patient.


  1. Bradley Thomas

    Just another hit to community pharmacy turnover to go with the codeine decision. Having said that the price cuts on molecules that are worth virtually nothing if my grade 3 maths serves me correctly anything times zero is still zero? When are these molecules going to be unsustainable for manufacturers to produce leading to more shorts and ultimately patients suffering? I’m not an owner but I feel for them at how these decisions will impact their bottom line and their ability to employ people and provide the services we are being encouraged to provide as we are supposed to be shifting away from traditional supply. I should have studied biotechnology and worked on that elusive genetically engineered money tree

    • PharmOwner

      Hi Bradley, it’s death by a thousand cuts (no pun intended) for community pharmacy. I agree that it was ridiculous that pharmacies were paid $70 for Lipitor years ago, when the actual cost was $30. But price disclosure has gone too far and every six months pharmacies have to perform a balancing act where we have enough stock on the shelf to provide medication but not too much because it’s going to be worth less than what we paid for it when the cuts kick in. Nexium dropping by 42% will be a nightmare. It’s not just price disclosure. Think of all the lines that have been removed from the PBS. Iron tablets. Panadol Osteo. Actilax. Think of all the items that used to be pharmacy only that are now sold in supermarkets.
      I should have done dentistry or engineering. There is no future in community pharmacy.

  2. Bruce ANNABEL

    While price disclosure (PD) continues on infinitum it’s important to point out that the big hits have gone through. Furthermore assuming the Bill is passed by parliament soon cuts on drugs that have been through multiple PD cycles, such as Crestor/rosuvastatin, the loss per script will be minor.
    When the impact of the 1 October ’17 and 1 April ’18 cuts are combined the income loss per script will be significantly less than the AHI and dispense fee increases of 53c/Rx minister Hunt granted pharmacy on 1 July 2017. That will leave pharmacy with a net increase in dispensing profitability in 17/18 financial year which is likely to be repeated in the 18/19 and 19/20 financial years as the built in fee increases more than offset PD cuts.

Leave a reply