The federal government has other provisions for reimbursing drug costs for a small number of specific programs, including an emergency drug (doctor’s) bag supplies program, vaccination programs, stoma appliances (through Stoma Associations, Canberra, Australia) and diabetic supplies (through Diabetes Australia, Deakin, Australia), an Aboriginal Communities Medication Program and via the Department of Veteran’s Affairs scheme (the Repatriation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme).
The PBS list contains about 500 drugs . The cost of the scheme is increasing with costs of benefits (including patients’ contributions) at approximately A$1.364 billion in 1990, A$1.318 billion in 1991, A$1.440 billion in 1992, A$1.777 billion in 1993 and A$2.080 billion in 1994 . For 1992/93, the total pharmaceutical expenditure (public and private prescriptions and over-the-counter medicines) as a percentage of total health expenditure for Australia was 9.99%. For 1993/94 the PBS expenditure as a percentage of the total health expenditure for Australia was 5.2%.
The decision data for 1993 to 1996 for new submissions, ie, nonchemical entities or major new indications (n=215), are as follows: recommend listing at price requested (n=88), recommend at lower price (n=47), recommend but query price (n=9), defer decision/refer for further information (n=15) or reject (n=56) .