JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
THE HON MARK BUTLER MP, MINISTER FOR HEALTH AND AGED CARE
THE HON SHAYNE NEUMANN MP, FEDERAL MEMBER FOR BLAIR
More than 28,560 patients in the electorate of Blair living with an ongoing health condition are now able to get two months’ worth of medicines for the price of one, saving money and time with 60-day prescriptions.
From 1 September, everyone with a Medicare card taking one of these medicines will save up to $180 per year, per medicine. Concession card holders will save $43 per medicine.
Patients will benefit from the freeing up of millions of much-needed GP visits, so doctors will have more time to diagnose and treat conditions, instead of simply issuing routine, repeat scripts.
60-day prescriptions mean less time on the roads for locals living in rural and regional areas, such as the rural parts of Ipswich, the Somerset Region, and surrounding areas, who have had to make long trips to purchase the medications they have been on for years.
Australians have already saved $138 million this year on more than 12 million cheaper prescriptions, after the Albanese Labor Government cut the maximum cost of a script on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme from $42.50 to $30.
Since January, patients in Blair have saved around $816,350 on more than 65,000 prescriptions.
60-day prescriptions were first recommended in 2018 by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, but the former government did not accept the expert advice, costing Australians hundreds of millions in fees.
Labor went to the election promising to implement the expert clinical advice and deliver cheaper medicines, and the Albanese Government will continue to deliver on that promise.
A full list of medicines available in the first tranche of 60-day prescribing is available here: https://www.health.gov.au/our-work/60-day-dispensing/pbs-medicines-current-item-codes
Quotes attributable to Minister for Health Mark Butler:
“Cheaper medicines are not just good for the hip pocket, it’s also good for the health of Australians.
“Overseas evidence tells us that medicine compliance increases by 20 per cent with longer prescriptions.
“That is why every major patient group and doctors’ group, including the Consumers Health Forum, the Australian Medical Association, the College of General Practitioners and the Rural Doctors Association, have all advocated strongly for 60-day prescriptions.”
Quotes attributable to Federal Member for Blair Shayne Neumann:
“Cheaper medicines through 60-day prescriptions will be life-changing for so many patients living in Ipswich, the Somerset Region and Karana Downs in my electorate, and surrounding areas.
“This will halve medicine costs for people living with chronic health conditions, including heart conditions, Crohn’s disease, high cholesterol, osteoporosis and high blood pressure, and provide important cost of living relief.
“I appreciate these changes will impact some individual pharmacies and I have met with local pharmacists to hear their concerns about the changes.
“However, every dollar the Government saves with this measure will be reinvested into pharmacy, because we know pharmacies play a vital role in local communities and we support a sustainable community pharmacy sector.
“We’re also providing more support for regional, rural and remote pharmacies to transition to 60-day prescriptions as they start to provide a broader mix of services and play an even more central role in the healthcare of Australians.
“Our cheaper medicines policy will deliver real savings for thousands of locals and ensure fewer people are forced to go without medicines because of the cost.”