Senate debates

Thursday, 29 November 2018

Questions without Notice

Health Care

2:07 pm

Photo of Nigel ScullionNigel Scullion (NT, Country Liberal Party, Minister for Indigenous Affairs) Share this | Hansard source

The PBS is an essential service that guarantees life-saving medicines that thousands of Australians rely on. It needs a responsible government that can manage an economy to ensure that we can afford the medicines that Australians rely on. Our record is simply to list each and every medicine that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee recommends. So, since 2013 we have listed nearly 2,000 medicines, an average of about one a day, and we've invested over $10 billion. In practical terms, 4,000 patients with severe inflammatory spinal arthritis will benefit from the listing of Simponi, which will save patients more than $15,000 a year, and 22,000 patients with rheumatoid arthritis will no longer have to pay $16,500 a year for Olumiant. Recently we announced the listing of a life-saving HIV medicine, Juluca, for more than 850 people, saving them $10,000 a year. These are all life-saving drugs that we could not afford if we did not have strong economic management.

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