Author Topic: Abortion drug recommended to join Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme  (Read 3319 times)

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Abortion drug recommended to join Australian Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-04-26/abortion-drug-recommended-to-join-pbs/4653948?section=australianetworknews

The abortion drug, commonly known as RU486, is a crucial step closer to being listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, a move that would make it hundreds of dollars cheaper.

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee has announced it will recommend the listing of the drugs Mifepristone and Misoprostol, which provide what is known as a medical termination of a pregnancy.

Final approval by the Federal Government would reduce the cost of the drugs from between $300 and $800, depending on the provider, to just $12 for Health Care card holders and $36 for those without a concession card.

Health Minister Tanya Plibersek says it is an "important first step".

"Now, we'll go into a period of making sure that there is a steady, good-quality supply of the drug, that there is a cost-effective price of the drug," she said.

Ms Plibersek said a decision would be made within weeks.

She said she would not prejudge the process but has spoken in favour of the use of the drugs.

"These drugs have been on the World Health Organisation's list of essential medicines for years now.

"Tens of millions of women have used these drugs successfully around the world.

"These drugs could have been listed some time ago in Australia but the last time it was in contemplation, Tony Abbott as health minister sought to use a ministerial veto power to prevent their listing."

Ms Plibersek says she does not want the issue to become a "political football", but says Mr Abbott's position on the issue is an "important one".


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