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Cost of Drugs in Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme-Reply

Cost of Drugs in Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme-Reply In Reply. —Ms Derby's comments regarding the PBS in Australia are helpful and add important information to the comparison of the Australian health care system within the United States. The question is, "Why are the per capita expenditures higher in Australia when the costs for comparable drugs (28 of 29 common drugs studied by Ms Derby) are lower?" There are 2 likely possible explanations for this: first, to explain the lower drug prices, the government essentially has monopsonistic power over drug prices included in the benefit scheme, since they are the only buyer in Australia. This allows the PBS to effectively negotiate prices with the drug manufacturers closer to (or at) their marginal costs. Second, to explain the higher total expenditures, there are 2 things to consider with respect to quantity. We wonder if the additional expenditures for non-PBS pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter preparations, account for some of the difference. Even more significant http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png JAMA American Medical Association

Cost of Drugs in Australia's Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme-Reply

JAMA , Volume 277 (16) – Apr 23, 1997

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Publisher
American Medical Association
Copyright
Copyright © 1997 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.
ISSN
0098-7484
eISSN
1538-3598
DOI
10.1001/jama.1997.03540400027018
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In Reply. —Ms Derby's comments regarding the PBS in Australia are helpful and add important information to the comparison of the Australian health care system within the United States. The question is, "Why are the per capita expenditures higher in Australia when the costs for comparable drugs (28 of 29 common drugs studied by Ms Derby) are lower?" There are 2 likely possible explanations for this: first, to explain the lower drug prices, the government essentially has monopsonistic power over drug prices included in the benefit scheme, since they are the only buyer in Australia. This allows the PBS to effectively negotiate prices with the drug manufacturers closer to (or at) their marginal costs. Second, to explain the higher total expenditures, there are 2 things to consider with respect to quantity. We wonder if the additional expenditures for non-PBS pharmaceuticals, including over-the-counter preparations, account for some of the difference. Even more significant

Journal

JAMAAmerican Medical Association

Published: Apr 23, 1997

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