The Australian national publicly subsidized: LISTING OF DRUGS FOR PAYMENT BY THE NATIONAL PBS(12)


New proposals

In Australia, a new authority category has been proposed to allow prescribing of promising new drugs that have gaps in evidence of clinical effectiveness and that are used only within a randomized clinical trial. Such a method would provide the PBS with good data on effectiveness, cost effectiveness and adverse events occurring postmarketing in the Australian context . Both the pharmaceutical industry and practitioners have commented on the feasibility of such a scheme .


The Australian system differs from the Canadian system in having a federal, centralized PBS. This system has the potential to control drug costs and ensure equity of access to selected pharmaceuticals. It can provide a centralized, well resourced organization to evaluate the comparative efficacy and economics of new Canadian drugs, which may expedite listing and decrease administrative overheads. Uniformity of requirements and a single, national decision allow equity of access to selected drugs across all Australian states.

The Australian advisory committees provide expert advise in technical areas and input from a broad range of clinicians and health professionals. Experts with pharmacological, clinical, epidemiological, economical and statistical skills are consulted. These committees distance politicians and bure-acrats from the decision-making process, at the same time as providing some protection for them. The process is expensive and complex. Due to the secrecy provisions of the National Health Act, the decision-making process is unable to be fully public. As in any committee process, strong opinions may dominate.

This entry was posted in Pharmaceutical and tagged Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Canadian health care, Pharmaceutical policy, Pharmacoeconomics.