A bitter pill
As inflation-induced price rises loom, the call for a decrease in medicine prices is being intensified by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia. From tomorrow, the maximum co-payment for PBS-listed medicines will increase by $1.60 to $31.60 for general patients, and by 40 cents to $7.70 for concessional card holders.
This situation contrasts sharply with last year, when medicine prices fell by $12.50 following the Guild’s ‘Affordable Medicines Now’ campaign.
“Instead of the Commonwealth Government putting the price of medicines up on the 1st of January, they should be doing in fact the complete opposite and easing the cost-of-living burden on Australians,” said the Guild’s National President, Professor Trent Twomey.
The Guild is now advocating for a reduction in the maximum co-payment for PBS medicines to $19, highlighting that Australia has the third highest out-of-pocket expenses for essential medicines in the developed world.
Recent figures reveal that many Australians are delaying or forgoing their essential medicines due to financial strain from rising living costs.
“The Australian Bureau of Statistics shows that 1.1M Australians are delaying, deferring or going without their essential medicines on a weekly and monthly basis,” Professor Twomey said.