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New report boosts case for affordable medicines

medicine in blister packs

A new journal by the Australian Healthcare and Hospital Association (AHHA), has boosted the case for the Pharmacy Guild’s ‘Affordable Medicines Now’ campaign.

The campaign was relaunched this month to argue for a reduction in the maximum co-payment for PBS medicines down to $19 from its current maximum cost of $30.

The AHHA’s latest edition of the Australian Health Review says the high cost of medicines acts as a barrier for Australians wanting to maintain their health.

Guild National president, Professor Trent Twomey says this is the main reason for rebooting the ‘Affordable Medicines Now’ campaign.

“The Australian Health Review tells us precisely what our community pharmacists are reporting back from the frontline of health care.

“That is, despite the recent reduction in the maximum co-payment to $30, the high cost of living is again forcing people to skip medications or choose one medication over another,” he said.

“We are hearing appalling stories of some families who are having to choose which of their loved ones should have medicine and which ones should go without.

“It doesn’t matter whether it’s communities in Canberra or Cairns, the feedback is the same. Too many Australians are struggling with the cost of medicines.

The AHHA says about the journal, “Policy Reflections authored by Jane Hall and Stephen Duckett reflect on Australia’s healthcare system and the growing and changing health needs of Australia.”

It also says, “As well as people potentially delaying essential health care due to cost, affordability is a barrier when it comes to medications.”

“With another interest rate hike likely in the coming months, medicine affordability will only get worse,” Professor Twomey said.

“Our campaign is ‘Affordable Medicines Now’. The federal government needs to act now.”

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