Prices to nosedive

Cuts from 6CPA-linked price disclosure changes starting to take effect

The 1 April price disclosure cuts will see the impact of measures that were included in the PBS Access and Sustainability Package, linked to the passage of the Sixth Community Pharmacy Agreement in 2015.

The latest announcement from the PBS provides listings of drugs and manners of administration that meet the 42 month clock for a 30% Unadjusted Price Reduction for the 2018 April cycle of cuts.

For application of the 30% cut in the April 2018 cycle, a drug will have been on F2 and multi-branded for at least:

  • 3.5 years (42 months) from the commencement of the data collection period for the cycle (1 April 2017); and
  • 4.5 years to the first potential reduction day.

A few of the many drugs listed as being impacted are:

  • oral Aciclovir
  • oral Alprazolam
  • oral Aspirin
  • oral Baclofen
  • Betamethasone by application
  • oral Clopidogrel with Aspirin
  • oral Codeine with paracetamol
  • Dexamethasone by injection
  • oral Diazepam
  • oral Diclofenac
  • Hydrocortisone by application
  • oral Lamotrigine
  • Methotrexate, both oral and by injection

Once a drug has met the 42 month clock, it will be subject to a 30% price reduction in each price disclosure cycle thereafter.

If a drug meets or exceed a 30% cut in two consecutive cycles, the unadjusted price reduction for that drug/MoA will revert 10% for every cycle thereafter.

Click here for more information.

The April 2018 cycle will also see flow-on price reductions for F2 combination items, affecting drugs such as esomeprazole capsules and tablets, Telmisartan 40 and 80 mg tablets, Valsartan 40, 80, 160 and 320 mg tablets and Naloxone injections


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  1. Andrew

    Ummm…I think this article has missed the point (although the PBS information page couldn’t possibly have been written in more complex language).
    My understanding is that, after 6 cycles of price disclosure the threshold for further price cuts becomes 30%. If the 30% threshold is not breached, then the drug does NOT undergo a price cut. If anything this policy will slow the rate of price cuts, not the nosedive as suggested in this article. Hopefully this will help avoid the issue we saw 18 months ago whereby price RISES were needed to ensure that common products remained available through the PBS.

  2. Bruce Annabel

    That’s correct Andrew. The 30% threshold is very important meaning there won’t be a cut to many drugs such as rosuvastatin. Accordingly the overall 1 April cuts will be very modest impacting dispensing profitability by only 10 or 12 c per script. We have seen the worst of price disclosure and the 30% threshold Guild negotiated last year with Minister Hunt is vital

  3. PeterC

    So basically the article is wrong??

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