Media release

AMA welcomes doubling of cheaper medicines

The Australian Medical Association welcomes the second stage of the of 60-day dispensing commencing this month, which will bring down the costs of more medicine for millions of patients, while saving them and the health system time and money.

A man's hands with pills

Doctors are now able to write 60 day prescriptions for close to 100 additional medicines for health conditions like diabetes, epilepsy, breast cancer and menopause.

AMA President Professor Steve Robson said the AMA had long advocated for this sensible reform and supports the government’s phased introduction.

“Expanding the list of medicines able to be prescribed for 60 days is a win for patients, especially amid cost-of-living pressures,” he said.

“Patients who are stable on their medication will be able to receive two months of medicine, often for the price of one month and they can do it in a single trip to the pharmacy, saving them or their carers time and money.

“It will also mean fewer visits to the GP, freeing up appointments for other patients and supporting GPs to spend more time with those patients that have more complex health care needs.

“This is a policy that was recommended by our independent medical experts on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

“By making medicines more affordable by patients, we can help ensure these prescriptions get filled and that patients take their medication. Ultimately that means healthier Australians and less pressure on the health system.”
The AMA strongly advocated for the reforms, which see Australians without a concession card saving up to $189 per medicine, per year and pensioners and concession cardholders saving up to $46.20 per medicine, per year.

A further 100 medicines will be introduced by 1 September 2024.

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