Wednesday, 5 March 2014
National Health Amendment (Simplified Price Disclosure) Bill 2013; In Committee
I indicate to the chamber that the government does not support the amendment. I do appreciate Senator Xenophon's very real concerns in this area. Regarding the transparency and information that is requested, all the parameters to calculate the financial impact of the simplified price disclosure are already publicly available, primarily in two ways. Firstly, a legislative instrument will be tabled every six months to allow the price changes to take effect. The instrument will include the full list of the medications subject to price disclosure, the form of the drug, the adjusted price and the percentage reduction. Secondly, concurrently, the department releases information on its website with a summary of the changes to ensure that consumers are aware of the expected price reductions. This is usually accompanied by a media release. The government believes that the appropriate arrangements are in place in terms of information and transparency and, as I said, will not be supporting the amendment.