Consumers will need to be prepared for the changes flowing from the PBS delisting of 17 types of medicines on 1 January 2016, says the PSA.
The medicines include products such as paracetamol which is used as first line therapy for chronic conditions such as osteoarthritis.
PSA National President Joe Demarte says consumers who normally access these medications through a PBS prescription will now need to discuss with their pharmacist the changes and be prepared well before they come into effect on 1 January 2016.
“Pharmacists know from previous experience that significant changes to PBS rules can create a number of problems for patients and carers,” Demarte says.
He says that as a result of these changes consumers will reach the Safety Net later and experience greater out‑of-pocket costs.
“We are concerned about the financial impact in accessing some of these medicines, as they may end up costing patients more due to the delisting”.
“The delisting is scheduled for the middle of the post-Christmas break, so it’s important that consumers discuss their needs with their pharmacist as soon as possible to ensure they are aware of all medication options for managing their condition,” Demarte says.
He says that the announcement is contrary to PSA’s submission to Government stating that many of the medications used as first line therapy should not be delisted, and seeking a longer lead in time for the reforms.
“Nevertheless, the PSA is committed to ensuring patients’ health needs are being met and assisting government progress this budget savings measure.”