Good news for the hundreds of thousands of Australians who rely on an array of prescription medicines for their health.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced the price of 226 popular medicines will be reduced from Monday. More than 800,000 people will benefit when the new changes come into place next week.
According to a report on Nine News on Wednesday evening, a number of medications that people take for a variety of conditions will be reduced under the price reduction, saving many Aussies around $200 a year. Medication containing valsartan such as Co-Diovan will be reduced by up to $2.18 per script. The drug is typically used for those with high blood pressure.
In addition, brands of medication that contain powerful painkiller OxyContin could see reductions of up to $3.78. Meanwhile, medication such as Lyrica, which is used to treat epilepsy and neuropathic pain, will see even bigger savings.
According to the report, the cost could be slashed for these medications by up to $6.12. Those diagnosed with eye condition glaucoma will also see saving of around $3 for their medication containing Dorzolamide.
“Over 800,000 Australians will benefit from price reductions across 226 different brands of medicine,” Hunt told 9 News.
Hunt explained that if medication was affordable, people would be more likely to take them as prescribed and adhere to them.
The latest price drop comes months after more than 300 medicine brands had their prices slashed by up 40 per cent. This meant people living with high blood pressure, depression, digestive disorders and even certain types of cancer have been paying less for medication since April.
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“These cheaper medicines also deliver a further $250 million saving to the taxpayer, which will be completely reinvested into new medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS),” Hunt said at the time. “These price reductions benefit patients when the total cost of the script drops below the maximum PBS payment of $39.50 with concessional patients – including pensioners– paying just $6.40.”
This year, the Government also announced it will subsidise the costs for 11 medicines used to treat cancer, arthritis, diabetes and eye disease. Potentially life-saving cancer medications pralatrexate, Atezolizumab and sonidegib, used to treat T-Cell lymphoma, metastatic non-small cell lung cancer and basal cell carcinoma respectively, were all announced, benefiting 3,000 patients.