By Melissa Davey – The Guardian.
Australia has the highest incidence of cancer in the world, and the committee has been examining how to keep drugs affordable and available to patients.
A Senate committee has called on the government to undertake a comprehensive review of its system for subsidising medicines to taxpayers, as the increasing number of new and expensive drugs being listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is becoming unsustainable.
Australia has the highest incidence of cancer in the world, and with more than 1,000 cancer medicines subsidised by the scheme, the community affairs references committee has been examining how to keep these drugs affordable and available to patients in the face of growing costs to the government.
Cancer medicines account for one in every six dollars expended through the Scheme, up from one in eight dollars in 2012-13. But questions have been raised about the processes used by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) in making its recommendations to the scheme about which drugs to subsidise.The committee’s report, published on Friday, also recommended a review of the way cancer medicines data is collected, and for the PBAC to make cancer drug submissions publicly available so community discussion of the real benefits, harms and cost of drugs could occur…read the full article.