Workers’ vows to pip liberals to reduce drug costs

The centre-left Australian Labor Party has promised to cut the cost of common Australian medicines slightly more than the Liberal Party if elected to the government in late May.

The workforce will save 29% by reducing the maximum cost consumers pay for medicines covered by the Benefits Scheme (PBS) from $ 42.50 to $ 30.

under PBSThe federal government subsidizes medical expenses for most of the medical conditions. This is a perk available to anyone with a current Australian Medicare card.

The Labor Party’s change in PBS, scheduled for January 1, 2023, is expected to save Australians more than $ 190 million ($ 134 million) in out-of-pocket costs.

Labor Party leader Anthony Albanese Said The pressure on living expenses is real and everything is rising under the current government.

“We need to make these changes to PBS because we need to make sure that Australians can afford the medicines they need,” he said.

This was the day after the Morrison administration announced that it would reduce the maximum price Australians would pay for PBS drugs from $ 42.50 to $ 32.50 if they were reelected, saving $ 10 compared to workers’ $ 12.50. Become.

Prime Minister Morrison Said This is the first time that the PBS General Co-payment has been reduced by any government and could benefit more than 19 million Australians who do not have a concession card.

“Our economic plan provides millions of Australians with living cost relief, and they will save hundreds of dollars each year on the cost of essential, life-saving medicines,” he says. I did.

“Millions of Australians will soon save $ 10 per common drug script, which means that those taking one drug a month will save $ 120 a year, which means a month. People taking two medications can save $ 240 a year. “

On the other hand, a $ 12.50 reduction under labor means that those taking one medicine a month can save $ 150 a year and those taking two medicines a month can save $ 300 a year. To do.

Epoch Times Photo
Greg Hunt, Minister of Health of Australia, at the Parliament Building in Canberra, Australia, August 23, 2021. (RohanThomson / Getty Images)

When Labor’s pledge came shortly after the Liberal Party, Health Minister Greg Hunt said the Labor was catching up with health policies, and two of the Labor’s three major health policies in this election had already been announced by the government. He said he was.

“The history of workers at PBS is clear. When they were last in the government, they couldn’t list all the medicines recommended for PBS, let alone make them cheaper.” He said on social media.

Hunt also said release In 2011, the Labor Party stopped listing some drugs on PBS, including severe asthma, chronic pain, schizophrenia, blood clots, endometriosis, and prostate condition, but since 2013, The coalition (free citizens) government has a list of 2,900 new or revised PBSs.

The Epoch Times asked Shadow Health Minister Mark Butler for comment, but did not respond at the time of publication.

But Butler said on social media that drug prices are rising under the current government, as are the costs of seeing a doctor.

Steve Milne


Steve is a Sydney-based Australian reporter with sports, arts and politics. He is an experienced English teacher, a qualified nutritionist, a sports enthusiast, and an amateur musician. Contact him at [email protected]