Medicines Australia has launched a consumer campaign urging the public to lobby their local MPs to safeguard the PBS and prevent further cuts.
Its new campaign features a consumer website and is backed by advertising.
It has the tagline ‘Say yes to the best PBS’ and seeks explain why having the ‘best’ PBS matters.
MA says that if the cuts go ahead the PBS will be jeopardised, along with access to affordable, life-saving medicines.
“Bureaucrats in Canberra want to cut funding to your PBS,” MA says on its new consumer website.
“The way bureaucrats in Canberra have chosen to cut funding to the PBS will hurt Australian patients. If not stopped, these funding cuts will:
- prevent the introduction of the latest medicines;
- slow the development of new medicines from world leading researchers;
- reduce the number of new medicine trials for patients;
- reduce the number of medicines on the PBS;
- reduce doctor choice of medicines;
- threaten thousands of jobs in the medicines industry in Australia;
- remove research funding for new medicines; and
- reduce Australia’s capacity to export medicines to the world.”
MA says it needs the public’s help to stop the cuts.
“We want the Government to tell the bureaucrats that their cuts are unfair and to negotiate with the companies that research, invent and manufacture new medicines to find a more sustainable long-term solution.”
“All Australians deserve access to the world’s best medicines and we must avoid policy measures that will damage the PBS,” Medicines Australia CEO Tim James said in a statement following the release of the Budget.
“A stable PBS helps patients, supports thousands of medical researchers and jobs and encourages investment in medical research in Australia.”
James highlighted that Australian patients already face very considerable challenges when accessing new medicines.
The industry body cited a report released last year which ranked Australia 18th among the top 20 OECD countries when it comes to access to new medicines. The report also found cancer patients had to wait an average of 573 days for new drugs that already had TGA approval.