Australian pharma industry blasts budget plan

From your personal checkbook to your nation's budget, everybody is trying to keep the books balanced these days. In Australia, they've decided to cut back on pharmaceutical subsidies. No new medicines will be added to the national subsidized drugs scheme until 2013, when the Australian budget is expected to be back in black.

Many are not happy with this plan, including the pharma companies. They don't like the plan because it would delay approval of as many as 100 new medicines per year, according to a report in PharmaTimes. Patients are not happy because they will be expected to pay a lot more per month for medication in a country whose Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme pays for about 75 percent of all prescription drugs sold.

Australia's pharmacy industry group is blasting the budget-saving plan. "The government has listened to the advice of its own experts and decided not to take that advice. I think patients and the companies who have developed these medicines are owed a proper explanation," said Brendan Shaw, chief executive of industry group Medicines Australia.

- read the story in PharmaTimes