The PBS safety net with no catch

The Pharmacy Guild has welcomed the news that patients will have earlier access to the PBS safety net regardless of which party wins the federal election.

Under the Coalition’s plan, now matched by Labor, from January 2020 the number of prescriptions required for concession cardholders to reach the safety net will fall by 12 from 60 to 48. The safety net threshold for general patients will fall by about two scripts.

The Guild says this is a positive step, especially for chronically ill patients, many of whom struggle to fill prescriptions because of cost.

While acknowledging the bipartisan support for the measure, the Guild notes there is more that can be done to restore universality to the PBS through ensuring patients across Australia access subsidised medicines on the same terms.

Maintaining a focus on community pharmacy, the Guild also stresses the importance of ensuring that “the vital final component of the PBS supply chain, community pharmacies,  are kept viable so that patients continue to have the world’s best access to the medicines they need”.

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