Jul 7, 2005

Sick to pay more for medicines


MEDIA RELEASE – Anthony Albanese MP – 7 July 2005

The Minister for Health, Tony Abbott has announced that people with lung cancer, epilepsy and depression may be forced to pay hundreds of dollars more for vital medication under changes to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The changes undermine the fundamental nature of the PBS as introduced by Labor, which is to ensure that all Australians can afford the vital medications they need.

The Minister has back flipped, back tracked and done back room deals to save face on another election promise fiasco.

Minister Abbott failed to consult with doctors about the changes to the PBS, the people who know most about the medicines patients need.

Under the measure aimed at compensating drug companies for Minister Abbott’s PBS savings measure announced at the last election, people with lung cancer will be forced to pay $460 more for each prescription of Alimta after 1 August this year.

Labor has called on the Minister for Health to guarantee that sick Australians will not be worse off.

Anthony Albanese MP, Federal Member for Grayndler, fears that under the Howard Government, people in this electorate will soon face a health system just like America’s – where if you can’t afford to buy medicines, you miss out.