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HOW TO SUBMIT A CONSUMER COMMENT ABOUT MEDICATIONS BEING CONSIDERED FOR INTRODUCTION ON THE PHARMACEUTICAL BENEFITS SCHEME
What is the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS)?
The PBS subsidises the cost of new medications needed by the Australian public. A PBS listing makes medications more affordable for the people who need them. Under the PBS, the Government covers most of the cost of a medication.
Who decides which medications are listed on the PBS?
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) is an independent body that considers whether to add new medications to the PBS. The PBAC meets three times a year to review new medications for the PBS. It makes recommendations to Government about whether to list a medication on the PBS. The PBAC’s recommendations influence the Government’s decision-making on which medications to add to the PBS.
Who should comment on a PBS submission?
Anyone with an interest in a particular medication should submit a consumer comment, including people living with a disease, as well as anyone else impacted by the disease (i.e. family / friends / community members).
The PBAC also welcomes comments from members of the public, patients, carers, healthcare professionals and patient or consumer groups.
All comments received will be considered by the PBAC when it reviews a new medication.
The PBAC is interested in your personal experience (or on behalf of a group) on the potential benefits that a new medication will bring for patients, carers and their families. This may include, for example, the impact on quality of life and other benefits that will come about from a medication being added to the PBS or being reimbursed by the Government.
How to submit your comments on a PBS submission
All medications being considered by the PBAC at its March 2018 meeting will be published on the Department of Health website ahead of time. The PBAC meeting agenda and a link to the consumer comment form is available on the PBS website ahead of every PBAC meeting.
The March 2018 meeting agenda will be published on 20 December 2017 at the following web address: http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/industry/listing/elements/pbac-meetings/agenda/march-2018-pbac-meeting-agenda
Consumer Comments for the March 2018 meeting can be submitted from:
20 December 2017 to 7 February 2018.
There are three ways you can submit comments on a PBAC submission. Your comments must be submitted before the closing date (7 February 2018):
- By completing an online form on the Department of Health’s website. Available at the following address: http://www.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/PBAC_online_submission_form
- By requesting a printed form from the PBAC Secretariat (contactable on: 02 6289 7099) and returning the completed form to the Department of Health before 7 February 2018.
- By submitting a letter of support and sending it to the PBAC (address: GPO Box 9848, Canberra, ACT 2601) before 7 February 2018.
All comments submitted before the closing date will be considered by the PBAC.
When can patients or the general community find out if a PBAC application to fund a new medicine has been successful?
Whether the PBAC decides to recommend a new medication for introduction on the PBS or not, the outcome of its March 2018 meeting will be made publicly available six weeks after 9 March 2018, at the following address: