CANBERRA (CU)_With less than a month to go for the federal elections, the Coalition government has made another election promise aimed at making common medication cheaper for the general public. The measure, which was accidentally announced by two frontbenchers last month, has now been reaffirmed by Prime Minister Scott Morrison.
According to a statement issued by PM Morrison on Friday (29 April), all medications on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) would be $10 cheaper if the coalition is re-elected in next month’s vote. Accordingly, the maximum price of a PBS medicine will now be brought down to $32.50, a move which would cost the federal government $150 million a year. The Aussie leader said the measure would begin at the start of 2023 and would benefit up to 9 million Australians each year.
“This is the single most significant change to the cost of and access to medications since the PBS was introduced more than 70 years ago,” his statement read. “Millions of Australians will soon save $10 per script for common medications, which means those taking one medication a month could save $120 a year, or those taking two medications a month could save $240 a year… Because of our strong economic management, the Coalition is winding the clock back on the cost of medications, reducing the cost per script to 2008 prices.”
The announcement comes at a time when the cost of living is skyrocketing, with inflation at a 20 year high, consumer price pressures are dominating the election campaign. It is particularly expected to feature heavily in the Labour’s official campaign launch in Perth on Sunday. Coming out of a week in isolation after contracting COVID-19, party leader Anthony Albanese said the issue could be tackled by lifting wages, slashing cost of energy through a comprehensive energy plan, as well as making child care cheaper.