Panadol Osteo could double in price due to regulatory changes, claims the Guild’s head.
Speaking on national radio, David Quilty did not hold back on his feelings and explained his concerns, especially for safety net patients..
“We did our own analysis, and this was based on the December prices OTC for Panadol Osteo. And this is prior to the manufacturer indicating they’re going to increase their price, and generally what you’d find is that for Panadol Osteo where a patient under the PBS, if they’ve got a concession card, would pay a maximum of $7.50 for 192 tablets. If they were buying 192 tablets OTC, they would pay between $12 and $15 under the current prices. [Then] if you add on the fact that the manufacturer’s [are] now indicating [from this year] they’ll increase their price by about $2 for a pack of 96, or $4 for two packs, you’re now looking at a situation where patients are going to pay probably between $15 and $20 for what they got under the PBS for about $7.50 if they had a concession card.”
He says this is significant for vulnerable people.
“For people with osteoarthritis, this is a first line pain relief treatment. If, and many patients are on these medicines on an ongoing basis, so if you multiply that increase by 12 months and take into account the fact that none of these medicines will now count towards their safety nets, that is a significant increase in patients’ out of pocket costs.”
Quilty says he recommends that patients talk to their pharmacist because there is a ‘web of confusion’, coupled with safety net changes, which were implemented two days ago.
“What I would say to all the patients out there is talk to your local pharmacist. I know that 90% of patients, who are high users of medicines, and who have chronic health conditions always go to the same pharmacy. Their pharmacist is one of their most trusted health professionals.Talk to their pharmacist, they can talk you through the pros and cons of both the de-listings and what the options are, as well as the issue of the discount. So my advice to everyone is go to your local pharmacy and talk to your pharmacist who is well briefed on these issues.”