FAQ – EAPD for Consumers

FAQ – EAPD for Consumers

Please note: The information on this page is no longer current and is only included here for historical reference.

Current information is maintained on the Price Disclosure (SPD) page.

 

From 1 April 2012, the prices of some Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) medicines will be reduced, as part of the Australian Government’s Expanded and Accelerated Price Disclosure (EAPD) program. 

The PBS and patient co-payments

The PBS helps to make medicines affordable for all Australians by limiting the amount you pay towards the cost of your PBS medicine.

Many medicines cost a lot more than you actually pay. Currently (from 1 January 2012), you will pay up to $35.40 for most PBS medicines or $5.80 if you have a concession card.  This amount is known as the co-payment.  The Australian Government pays the remaining cost. 

These co-payments are not changing on 1 April 2012.

Why are the prices being reduced?

The aim of price disclosure is to ensure that Australian taxpayers benefit from discounts and incentives provided by manufacturers for medicines where there is more than one brand on the PBS. 

Once the patent of an older medicine expires, it can be sold under a number of brand names.  Manufacturers often sell these new brands at prices much lower than the Government approved price to compete for market share, but the Government still pays the full price.  Price disclosure brings the Government price in line with the market price, benefiting taxpayers and consumers. 

What is Price Disclosure?

To keep the PBS affordable for everyone, the Government pays close attention to the prices it pays for PBS medicines.

The price disclosure program was developed to reduce the prices of some older PBS medicines, to make them follow the prices currently paid by pharmacies. The first rounds of price disclosure have resulted in price reductions for many brands of commonly used medicines on the first reduction day, 1 April 2012.  This reduces the price paid by Government for many medicines, which helps to ensure the sustainability of the PBS. 

In some cases, consumers will also pay less for each PBS prescription.      

How does price disclosure reduce the amount paid by patients?

Some medicines that take price disclosure reductions will now be cheaper than the $35.40 co‑payment amount. 

For example, Drug A currently costs $50.  On the reduction day, the price of Drug A is reduced to $25.

Instead of paying $35.40, non-concessional patients will now pay $25, saving $10.40 per script. 

Concessional patients will continue to pay only $5.80 for their prescriptions. 

Not all formulations of medicines taking reductions will result in patient savings.  For example, a stronger formulation of Drug A currently costs $100.  After the reduction day, the price of Drug A is reduced to $50.  Patients will continue to pay only $35.40 (or $5.80 for concessional patients), however the cost to the Government will be reduced, which helps to ensure that the PBS remains affordable into the future. 

Will the price of my medicine be reduced?

A full list of brands that may be cheaper for non-concessional patients from 1 April 2012 is available in the PDF: Brands that may be cheaper for non-concessional patients from 1 April 2012 (PDF 442KB)

Some brands of medicine have extra premiums charged by the manufacturer of the medicine and paid by the patient, whether they are a general or concessional patient. If these medicines are affected by price disclosure, the brand premium paid by the patient will also be reduced.

A list of brands with reduced premiums from 1 April 2012 is available on the PBS website.

To find out the new price for your brand of medicine, visit your pharmacist.  Different pharmacies may charge different amounts for medicines that cost less than the co-payment.

How are the new prices calculated?