Ending Australia’s bad drug deal: the three elements of pharmaceutical pricing reform

Australians are paying far too much for prescription drugs, especially drugs that are no longer under patent.

Our pricing system fails at almost every step. There is no drug budget to contain costs and force tough negotiations. The pharmaceutical pricing body includes vested interests and can be overruled by politicians. The policies that try to keep prices in check are timid and ineffective.

The first report from Grattan Institute’s Health Program, Australia’s bad drug deal, makes detailed comparisons with the prices paid in New Zealand, and by public hospitals in two Australian states. It looks at how drug prices are set elsewhere and explains the three steps that will get a much better drug deal for Australia.

Professor Stephen Duckett discussed the report findings at a Parliamentary Library Lecture and at a free public lecture hosted by ANU Canberra.