Senate debates

Wednesday, 8 March 2023

Questions without Notice

Health Care

2:56 pm

Photo of Katy GallagherKaty Gallagher (ACT, Australian Labor Party, Minister for the Public Service) Share this | Hansard source

I thank Senator Liddle for the question. Senator Liddle is right in her question about our commitments to improving access to health care, improving Medicare and dealing with the crisis in primary care, which is another of those issues that were left to us after 10 years of neglect and dysfunction from those opposite, when it was harder to see a doctor and more expensive to access health care. We are doing everything we can to reduce the price of medicines. In fact, the change that came in on 1 January has reduced the price of most pharmaceuticals from $42 a script to $30 a script.

In relation to the insulin medication that Senator Liddle has raised, this was a decision of PBAC, which is an independent expert body which advises the Australian government about the listings of medicine and comprises experts in the fields of medicine, health, economics, social policy, health technology and pharmacology. The health minister was made aware on 22 February of the company's intention to delist this medication from the PBS from 1 April. We understand that this is causing concern for people who are using that medication. The minister has asked his department to work with the company to look at resolving the matter. The PBAC has advised that, due to the availability of other medicines, the removal of this particular medication from the PBS will not result in unmet clinical need. (Time expired)


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