News

PBS changes set to take effect today

HERE TO HELP: Pharmacist manager Les Black is happy to help customers make the best decision for their family.
HERE TO HELP: Pharmacist manager Les Black is happy to help customers make the best decision for their family. Samantha Oneil

CHANGES to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) are set to take effect from today, with about 17 items being removed from the schedule.

Under the PBS, the government subsidises the cost of medication for most medical conditions.

Pharmacist manager Les Black said the items removed were some of the lesser expensive items on the schedule.

"The theory is that the less expensive items are removed in order for higher-cost items, like cancer treatments, to be subsidised," he said.

Mr Black said paracetamol was the fourth most prescribed drug on the PBS.

"It is about an $80 million per year saving, which will be shifted to other newer drugs," he said.

One of the newest drugs added to the PBS is Axitinib, which is a "last resort" treatment for kidney cancer. "Axitinib costs about $5000 per month," Mr Black said.

The changes are expected to hit the pocket of older customers the most, with many retirees and nursing home residents relying on the removed medications for daily pain management.

Mr Black said new rules would now allow the pharmacy to offer a $1 discount on PBS prescriptions to help offset the impact.

The director of local pharmacies Warwick Discount Drug Store and John Duggan Amcal Chemist, Chris Owen, said both pharmacies were offering the discount to concession cardholders.

"We'll be giving the full discount to try and alleviate the stress of PBS changes, to eligible concession patients," Mr Owen said.

"We've been here for many years and we want to give back to our supportive community."

The only drawback to the discount is customers will take longer to reach their Safety Net threshold.

Under the current Safety Net rules, when a customer reaches 60 concessional prescriptions at $6.20 each for the year, their prescriptions are free of charge for the rest of that year.

Mr Black said while customers might be saving money in the short term with the discount, access to free medicine could be pushed to later in the year or they may not qualify at all. "All our customers should discuss their situation with myself or the pharmacist on duty to work out what will be best for them," he said.

Removal of drugs from the PBS

 antacids (eg Gaviscon, Mylanta and Gastrogel)

 paracetamol (eg Panamax, Panadol Osteo)

 iron tablets (eg Ferro-Gradumet)

 aspirin - pain and blood-thinning products

 B12 injections

 hydrocortisone creams and ointments

 folic acid tablets (eg Megafol)

Topics:  medication, medicine, pbs, pharmaceutical benefits scheme




Two Warwick grandmothers and mum row over kids

Warwick Court House

The Warwick mother and daughter will face court over the abuse.

Teenager trapped in ute rollover south of Warwick

Emergency services were called about 9.30am.

UPDATE: Emergency crews are at the scene of a rollover.

Latest deals and offers

#SaveMarinaJoyce: How ISIS theory took over youtube channel

One young Youtuber accidentally gave rise to a conspiracy theory

Talking whiskey with Jack Daniel’s master distiller

It all comes down to the distillery

SIXTY MILES AHEAD sign with Eclipse Records, prepare new album 'Insanity'

Sixty Miles Ahead sign with Eclipse. Photo Contributed

Sixty Miles Ahead to release new album on Eclipse

Thy Art Is Murder are killing it

See Thy Art is Murder on their killer tour happening right now. Photo Contributed

We talk with Thy Art is Murder about touring, babies, and new music

Date announced for Prince tribute concert

A Prince tribute concert will take place later this year

Matt Damon is taking a break from acting

Matt Damon is taking a break to spend time with his family

Queensland's $1 town goes under the hammer today

The township of Yelarbon is up for sale.

Unprecedented auction of town's business centre with no reserve

Work starts on $15M Caloundra apartment building

Turning the first sod at the Aqua View Apartments site in Kings Beach are (from left) husband-and-wife developers Alex Yuan and Stella Sun with construction company Tomkins director Mike Tomkins and Councillor Tim Dwyer.

Developers excited about addition to Kings Beach skyline

72-year-old Coast developer set to start new project

GREEN LIGHT: The Cosmopolitan has been approved for development at Cotton Tree.

Meet the Canberran set to deliver another chapter for Coast suburb

Plans revealed for 1500-lot 'master-planned community'

Precinct will be bounded by Boundary St and Shoesmith Rd

Ecco Ripley sales run sparks prime release

MOVING IN: Sekisui House has announced the release of more residential blocks at Ecco Ripley.

Sekisui House is preparing to unveil more land at Ecco Ripley

The climb is slow but property on the way up

Michael Matusik, director of Matusik Property Insights.Photo Allan Reinikka / The Morning Bulletin

The improvement would be mild when compared to past cycles