New 60-day prescription policy to provide ‘much-needed financial relief’ to millions of Australians

Sep 01, 2023
For those holding a Medicare card and under the prescription of any of these medications, the potential savings are substantial. Source: Getty Images.

As of today countless Australians grappling with ongoing health conditions will have the opportunity to obtain a two-month supply of much-needed medication for the price of a single month as part of the Federal Government’s 60-day dispensing policy.

Among those managing health conditions such as cardiac concerns, Crohn’s disease, heightened cholesterol, osteoporosis, and hypertension, in addition to numerous other conditions, this policy shift offers substantial relief from the ongoing strain of current rising living costs.

For those holding a Medicare card and under the prescription of any of these medications, the potential savings are substantial – up to $180 annually per medication. Concession card holders will also benefit, with savings of $43 per medication during their next pharmacy visit.

Minister for Health and Aged Care Mark Butler claimed that “every single Australian will benefit from the freeing up of millions of much-needed GP visits, so our doctors have more time to diagnose and treat conditions, instead of simply issuing routine, repeat scripts.”

“Regional Australians will no longer have to travel each month into the pharmacy to pick up the same prescription they’ve been on for decades,” Butler said.

“Sixty-day prescriptions will be welcome relief during this global cost of living shock.

“But as well as being good for the hip pocket, it will be also good for the health of Australians.

“The Albanese Government went to the election promising cheaper medicines, and we continue to deliver on that promise.”

The Australian Medical Association (AMA) welcomed the start of 60-day prescribing on September 1, labelling it a big win for patients.

AMA President Professor Steve Robson said patients will now able to access cheaper medicines and will save money with less visits to the pharmacy.

“This initiative, which we have supported since it was first recommended by the independent expert Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee five years ago, will provide much-needed financial relief amid a cost-of-living crisis,” Professor Robson said.

Professor Robson mentioned that even though there was a strong campaign to scare people about the change, sensible thinking had won, and most Senators supporting the decision would be beneficial for patients.

Under the policy change, more than 300 medicines will eventually become available for 60-day prescriptions.

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