Getting the cost down

One quarter of PBS scripts now under co-pay, report reveals

More than one quarter of all PBS/RPBS dispenses are now under co-pay prescriptions, a new PBS report reveals.

Released on Monday 18 July, the PBS Report on the Collection of Under Co-payment Data 2014-15 reveals that from 1 July 2014 to 30 June 2015, the Department of Human Services (DHS) processed approximately 79 million under co-payment prescriptions.

This represents 25.9% of total PBS/RPBS prescriptions over that period. This amount has increased from the 72 million under co-pay scripts (24.4%  of the total) in 2013-14 and 62 million and 22.7% in 2012-13.

A spokesperson for thew Pharmacy Guild of Australia said the new data casts doubt on all claims of a lack of competition in community pharmacy.

“What it shows is that there is actually considerable and fierce competition in community pharmacy in those areas where it is possible, and this needs to be acknowledged.”

“The increasing prevalence of these under co-payment prescriptions is good news for consumers and for taxpayers, but obviously does come at some cost ot pharmacy profitability, and this also needs to be acknowledged.”  

Among the most commonly under co-pay prescribed products are:

  • Esomperazole – around 9,700,000 prescriptions
  • Temazepam – around 5,000,000
  • Amlodopine – around 5,000,000
  • Sertraline – around 4,500,000
  • Amoycillin – around 3,600,000  
  • Telmisartan – around 2,800,000

According to the PBS, this data continues to be “successfully collected from both community pharmacies and public and private hospitals”.

“The data is of a high quality, and it is now being made available on the Department of Health website and in regular PBS publications and reports”. 

“The availablility of this additional data is providing the Department of Health and other researchers with enhanced coverage of medicines that are approved and dispensed under the PBS/RPBS. It is improving the accuracy of information available to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) and others to support decision making and policy formulation”.

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  1. Anne Todd

    But under which co-pay the general price or the concession price? Neither the data or the summary page on the PBS website explains this. Or if they can even tell at this stage.

  2. Kevin Ou

    It will be under copay prescriptions for general patients (e.g. less than 37.70 for 2015). Since if a prescription was under the copay for concession patients it will become a private script rather than a PBS script

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