Show me the money

PBS a huge area of savings compared to other government-administered services including medical and hospital costs

Costs of essential goods and services are climbing at twice the rate of inflation, according to a Fairfax analysis of Reserve Bank of Australia data published this week.

The analysis, which looked at data since the Coalition took office in 2013, revealed the biggest price rises were in areas directly controlled by federal, state and local governments.

It found the overall consumer price index (CPI) increased by 10.4% since the final quarter of 2013, while the cost of government-administered or controlled goods and services rose by 23%.

Compared with the general inflation rate, medical and hospital services spiked more than 36%, according to the analysis by SMH senior economics correspondent Shane Wright.

This was even higher than the rise in education (24.9%) and childcare (26.7%) costs.

Meanwhile PBS costs increased by just 5.7% over the past six years, meaning its price rise was lower than the overall inflation.

This put pharmaceutical costs only slightly higher than the utility least affected by the federal government – water and sewerage, which increased by 5.3%.

In January this year, the Department of Health released the latest data on PBS expenditure and prescriptions for the 2017-18 financial year.

According to the numbers, total PBS government expenditure decreased by 3% – from $12,058 million in 2016-17 down to $11,690 million (excluding revenue) for 2017-18.

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  1. Michael Khoo

    I don’t know about others, but our clinical services are funded by revenue raised from the sale of things like soap. Quite an efficient model really! Everyone gets what they need without being a burden on the taxpayer.

    I would propose that this makes our community pharmacy model one of the best in the world.

    • Paul Sapardanis

      The current retail model distorts the true cost of all the services offered by community pharmacy. If this was removed the government/patient maybe in for s shock! eg $1 fee for a NDSS transaction that can takr 10 minutes? Free delivery free DAA’s free bp tests and the list goes on. Lets remove general retail and concentrate on professional services

      • Michael Khoo

        but from my point of view, the existing model isn’t broken, it just does not compete well with the discounting competition. “Discounting your way to increased profits” is the (illogical) paradigm shift in community pharmacy. Whilst I support the concept of clinical services delivered via community pharmacy, I fear that these measures will do little for the fiscal sustainability of community pharmacy in the long run. Look at what the discounters have done to influenza vaccination for example.

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