Grattan report ‘a simplistic response to a complex problem’

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CSO wholesalers have labelled the Grattan Institute’s latest report on PBS medicine pricing as “a simplistic response to a complex problem”

National Pharmaceutical Services Association Chair and Sigma Pharmaceuticals CEO Mark Hooper says the report released today shows little understanding of the enormous pressure on the pharmaceutical supply chain system.

“For the Grattan Institute to say their solutions would not undermine pharmacist income demonstrates a lack of understanding of the wider issues at play in Australia,” he says.

“The pharmaceutical supply chain system in its current form is unsustainable because of the PBS price reforms that have had a huge impact on how the delivery model is funded.

“Less than 10% of PBS medicines are now profitable to distribute because of the way the CSO wholesalers are remunerated. The whole remuneration arrangement requires reconsideration and that is exactly what NPSA has provided in its evidenced-based approach to the Review of Pharmacy Remuneration and Regulation.

“Simply advocating further PBS price cuts is only going to put further pressure on an already stressed system and will threaten the accessibility of medicines for Australian patients.”

Medicines Australia also criticised what it called Grattan’s “latest inaccurate, selective and misleading” report on medicine prices.

“The Grattan Institute has a history of misleading reporting on medicine prices in Australia,” it said in a statement today.

“They persistently ignore ongoing, significant reforms to medicines price policies, including the ability to change prices six times per year, not two, as claimed.

“Readers of the report would think the highly successful price disclosure measure has failed; in fact, it is expected to continue to deliver several billions of dollars of ongoing savings in the coming years.”

“Unfortunately, the Grattan Institute and the authors of this report demonstrate little regard for how the PBS works and its benefits to the Australian people,” said Medicines Australia chief executive Milton Catelin.


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