Australian Patients Association (APA) has partnered with The Pharmacy Guild of Australia to promote and advocate on behalf of the Affordable Medicines Now campaign, which aims to convince Canberra to lower the price of prescription medicines. As we have seen in our own research, medicine affordability is a significant concern for Australians, and medicine non-adherence due to costs is a devastating issue that not only causes poor health outcomes, but places significant strain on an already overburdened health system.
On 1st January 2022, the government increased the cost of prescription medicines for over 19 million Australians who do not have access to a concession card. This increase occurs every year, and has outstripped inflation, meaning the cost has continued to rise in real terms. Every increase hurts those who rely on prescription medicines for their health needs.
Why Does This Matter?
From our research, we already know that 1 in 5 Australians aged 18-64 find prescription medicines to be unaffordable. In fact, more than 900,000 Australians delayed or did not fill their prescriptions due to cost in 2019-2020 alone. These figures illustrate a simple fact; millions of Australians are struggling with the cost of prescription medicines, which without intervention will only worsen.
What You Can Do To Help?
Visit the campaign website at affordablemedicines.com.au
From there you can take a wide range of actions to help us in telling Canberra to lower the cost of prescription medicines. Sign the petition, send a letter to your local MP or share your story about how prescription medicine costs have impacted yourself, your family and your community.
Together, we can help ease the burden on millions of Australians and provide better health outcomes for our communities.
The general patient co-payment amount was reduced on 1 January 2023 from $42.50 to $30.00 per pharmaceutical benefit. The Government has also introduced flow-on changes: a new discretionary increased discounting for specific eligible medicines; and making changes to the Closing the Gap co-payment program.
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