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Ins and outs of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

John Bennett, Paul P Glasziou

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Abstract

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is, despite some anomalies and restrictions, making medications affordable for all Australians. Here is an overview of the scheme, including an insight into the listing process.

Article Extract

Australians enjoy access to a wide choice of subsidised medications, particularly compared with other countries. For example, annual costs for elderly Americans on prescription medications were estimated to be about US$1200 (A$2000) in 2000, with an average prescription costing about US$40 (A$70), whereas Australians generally have to pay a maximum of about $23 for a prescription for a medication that is listed on the PBS.

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