The PBS delisting of Panadol Osteo needs to be reconsidered in the light of cost and clinical safety implications, says Painaustralia.
In a letter to the Minister, Painaustralia CEO Lesley Brydon said the group has concerns that patients currently on Panadol Osteo might seek alternative PBS-subsidised therapies with poorer safety profiles, such as NSAIDS or opioids.
“Such a move by patients would clearly add to the complexity of their condition and negate any potential cost savings to government and the consumer,” Brydon says.
“Painaustralia is also concerned about the increased costs for patients arising from the delisting of Panadol Osteo which is currently the recommended first-line treatment for people suffering pain secondary to osteo-arthritis.”
Brydon says that before the delisting—which came into effect on 1 January this year—the cost of standard treatment with Panadol Osteo on the PBS (2 packs) for a patient on a concession card was $7.52 a month.
“This equated to $90.24 a year, or less if the person reached their Safety Net during the year,” Brydon says.
“Following the delisting, the price has now increased to up to $14 a month for two packs off prescription—amounting to $168 a year for these patients—at considerable extra cost to these patients.
“On top of this, these purchases now do not contribute to the patient’s Safety Net and that means an added financial burden.
“We can expect even higher prices in the near future as a result of the forecast price increase by the medicine’s manufacturer.”
Painaustralia has backed the recommendation of Arthritis Australia and the Australian Rheumatology Association that the delisting of Panadol Osteo be reconsidered pending a formal review of the clinical practice guidelines for its use in OA and consideration given to how other effective management strategies can be adopted.
Painaustralia has urged the Government to adopt the National Pain Strategy which had been brought to the attention of the current reviews of Medicare and Primary Care.
“We believe these important reviews provide an ideal opportunity to improve treatment of chronic pain and reduce the massive costs to government and consumers by incorporating the recommendations into policy,” Brydon says.