It is time the government ‘fessed up’ that Panadol Osteo has been de-listed from the PBS by mistake, says the Guild today.
It says that in April last year PBAC set very clear criteria for de-listing PBS medicines on the basis they were available outside the PBS at a price no higher than the then PBS Concessional co-payment of $6.10.
In a statement the Guild says that unfortunately, an elementary error has been made in relation to the non-PBS price of Panadol Osteo.
“The record of its July meeting shows that the PBAC discussed a list of medicines for possible de-listing, for which they had been given the ex-manufacturer prices per pack,” says the Guild..
“The ex-manufacturer price per pack of Panadol Osteo at that time was less than $6.10. However the problem is that the normal monthly prescribed PBS quantity of Panadol Osteo is not one but two packs.
“It is 2 packs of Panadol Osteo that osteoarthritis patients have had dispensed to them every month in their PBS prescription, until it was de-listed on 1 January.
The non-PBS price of 2 packs of Panadol Osteo was higher than the $6.10 threshold that the PBAC set for de-listing.”
The Guild points out that of the 8% of people who have osteoarthritis, and two thirds are women.
It adds the result of the “flawed decision” is that majority of more $1.9m osteoarthritis and now having to pay significantly more, and for many pensioners who normally reach the safety not, their yearly out-of-pocket costs could triple.
“The government’s declared purpose of the de-listing was to make medicines more affordable for patients. Demonstrably, this is not the case with Panadol Osteo.
“An elementary error has been made and it is now time to rectify it. As Malcolm Turnbull made clear when he became Prime Minister, when his government gets a policy wrong, they will review it. This is a classic example of where the Turnbull doctrine must be applied.
“Pharmacists and their patients around Australia will continue to campaign until this mistake is fixed.”