These 10 medicines are about to get much cheaper in Australia

Peter Terlato 27 September 2016 NEWS

Prescription medicines drugs

Medicinal price discounts encourage savings for both consumers and taxpayers alike.

From 1 October, more than 2000 medicines listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will incur price reductions, saving consumers up to $20 per script and taxpayers $900 million over four years.

The reductions were delivered through the PBS Access and Sustainability Package reforms, which passed Parliament last year.

Australia's minister for health Sussan Ley says more than 80% of price markdowns will result in direct saving for consumers, while the remaining 20% - those priced above the general PBS co-payment of $38.30 – will save taxpayers big bucks.

"These price reductions will save taxpayers $900 million over four years," Ley said.

"The savings from the PBS Access and Sustainability Package are already being used to subsidise breakthrough medicines, like the melanoma treatment Keytruda, which was added to the PBS last year."

Drugs used to combat high blood cholesterol levels, reduce stomach acid, treat pneumonia and stave off bacterial infections are among the most commonly prescribed and purchased medicines in Australia.

The table below shows the 10 biggest savings for non-concessional patients from 1 October 2016.

Consumers can save up to $23 on alendronic acid with colecalciferol/calcium (used to treat osteoporosis and provide additional vitamin D and calcium), up to $13 on cefalotin (antibiotic) and up to $6 on Donepezil (used in the palliative treatment of Alzheimer's disease).

While the cost reductions are significant, savings vary depending on a range of factors such as formulation and strength, brand, the patient's concessional status and any discretionary fees or discounts applied by pharmacies.

For more specific information talk to your pharmacist or search the full list of PBS medicines and brands.

Top 10 biggest savings for non-concessional patients

Drug name $ savings per script % savings per script
Alendronic acid with colecalciferol Up to $23.37 Up to 61.02%
Alendronic acid with colecalciferol and calcium Up to $23.37 Up to 61.02%
Cefalotin Up to $13.27 Up to 34.65%
Methotrexate Up to $10.91 Up to 28.49%
Fosinopril with hydrochlorothiazide Up to $10.63 Up to 35.92%
Enalapril with hydrochlorothiazide Up to $10.06 Up to 37.66%
Flucloxacillin Up to $8.29 Up to 30.58%
Temozolomide Up to $6.93 Up to 22.54%
Pioglitazone Up to $6.72 Up to 18.52%
Donepezil Up to $6.60 Up to 22.40%

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