Medicines: the state of the nation

Slight drop in pharmacy-based adverse event reports as prescription statistics give a view of Australia’s medicine usage

The latest data from the PBS Australian Statistics on Medicine 2015 report, released late yesterday shows a slight drop in the number of adverse event reports made by community pharmacists.

There was a small increase in adverse event reports made by hospitals, including hospital pharmacists.

The adverse events data continued to show a strong increase in the number of reports made by sponsors.  

Of the 17,000 total adverse event reports received by the TGA in 2015, a total of 6% (1105) were made by community pharmacists. Another 14% (2381) were from hospitals and hospital pharmacists.

Approximately 54% (9286) of the reports were from sponsors; 15% (2516) from State and Territory Health Departments (reports of adverse events following immunisation); 4% (675) from general practitioners (GPs); 4% (654) from consumers; and 3% (470) from other sources.

The number of reports made by sponsors has increased from 2011 (7414) to 2013 (9563) to 9286 in 2015.

The statistics reveal that the total number of subsidised prescriptions (PBS/RPBS) in 2015 was 217,220,377.

There were also 80,060,506 under co-payment (non-subsidised) prescriptions.

Atorvastatin remained the most prescribed drug in 2015 (10.5 million prescriptions), with rosuvastatin and esomeprazole swapping places in second and third respectively.  

Adalimumab is now the drug with the highest cost to the PBS/RPBS, with its 185,246 scripts costing $329,711,021. Esomeprazole moved into second place, with a total cost of $229,567,718.

Click here to see the data in full

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