Price drop for more than 2000 medicine brands

More than 2000 medicine brands treating common conditions will drop in price from 1 October 2016 – some by as much as 50 per cent or more.


Minister for Health and Aged Care Sussan Ley today announced that from 1 October 2016, one-in-three medicine brands on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) would be cheaper for some consumers by as much as $20 per script per medicine.


Ms Ley said the savings would be even higher for many Australians who took multiple medications daily.


“This announcement will also help ease cost pressures on a number of long-standing medicines on the PBS treating life-threatening diseases such as breast, prostate and ovarian cancer.”


For example, a non-concessional patient with diabetes, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and gastric reflux who is currently taking:

  • metformin for type 2 diabetes 500mg tablet twice daily;

  • pantoprazole for gastric reflux 40mg tablet daily;

  • alendronate 70 mg + colecalciferol 140 microgram tablet for osteoporosis (as per dosing instructions); and

  • enalapril with hydrochlorothiazide for high blood pressure 20 mg/6 mg tablet daily;

will save up to $34.19 per month on scripts, which equates to a yearly reduction of $410.28.


More than 80 per cent – or about 1600 – of the 2000-plus brands of medicines set to drop in price next month would see a direct saving to some consumers. The remaining 20 per cent - those priced above the general PBS co-payment of $38.30 - would see a saving to taxpayers.


“In addition to saving consumers real money cash in hand, this innovative Coalition reform will also save taxpayers nearly $900 million over the next four years by ensuring the Government isn’t overpaying for medicines either.


“The savings from our 2015 PBS Sustainability Package are already being used to subsidise new breakthrough medicines like the $150,000 melanoma treatment Keytruda,” Ms Ley said.


The changes deliver greater price reductions by removing the ‘originator’ or premium brand version of the drug from pricing calculations for medicines, meaning the cost of cheaper generic brands are used instead.


Find out more at


4 October 2016.