A Shorten Labor Government will ensure Australians have access to affordable medicines by listing every drug recommended by the independent experts on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.
It was 65 years ago that the Chifley Labor Government first introduced the PBS, which gives all Australians access to subsidised medicines that could otherwise be beyond their reach.
Alongside Medicare, the PBS is one of the great Labor reforms. It has saved and improved countless lives.
And like Medicare, a Shorten Labor Government will only ever protect and strengthen the PBS to ensure it can fund breakthroughs in medicines for all Australians who need them.
That’s why we are making this Affordable Medicines Guarantee.
Under Labor, every drug recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee will be listed.
That means that medicines will be available for $40.30 for general patients and $6.50 for concession patients – regardless of whether the drug would normally cost hundreds, or even hundreds of thousands, of dollars.
Labor’s reforms in partnership with the medicines industry have ensured the durability of the PBS over the last six and a half decades. We will work with the industry to ensure it is strong well into the future, even in this age of more expensive specialised and targeted medicines.
We will also ensure equitable access to medicines is not undermined by international treaties.
The last Labor Government spent more than $6 billion adding new medicines to the PBS.
In contrast, the Liberals have admitted there are 18 drugs recommended by PBAC that they will never list. At last count, there were more than 40 drugs that had been recommended by PBAC the Liberals had not listed.
Only Labor can be trusted to deliver the health care that Australians need.