Flawed process for drug listing not supported by Parliament
Posted on Thursday, 16 June 2011
The House of Representatives has today condemned the Gillard Government for its refusal to subsidise medicines recommended by its own expert advisory committee in a motion moved by the Member for Pearce, the Hon Judi Moylan MP and seconded by Dr Mal Washer MP.
The Government announced in February that it would not list seven medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) that had been recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC). Under the Government’s new policy all medicines now have to go before Cabinet and may be referred to a Cabinet sub-committee and then be subject to indefinite delays due to the Labor Government’s fiscal situation.
"The House of Representatives has today agreed that the process for listing medicines should be transparent and evidence-based and not subject to political interference," Mrs Moylan said.
"The PBS is a world renowned scheme that has received bi-partisan support over many years and the Gillard Government’s actions have badly damaged its integrity.
"Many Australians have been prevented from accessing important new medicines under the Government’s revised policy and there is great uncertainty for patients awaiting the future listing of new treatments.
"The Gillard Government should listen to the will of the House of Representatives and list medicines according to expert evidence, not its own political imperatives," Mrs Moylan said.