High cost medicines a problem for private health insurance

Thursday, May 26, 2011

A new study has found that private health insurance practices for subsidising high-cost pharmaceuticals are inconsistent, not transparent to consumers and may undermine the principle of equitable access to health care which underpins our 'community rating' system of private health insurance.

This study is reported in the most recent edition of the Australian Health Review, the peer reviewed journal of the Australian Healthcare and Hospitals Association.

"For most Australians, access to pharmaceuticals occurs via the tax-funded Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). However, there are two significant non-government funding arrangements for pharmaceuticals; payment by individual consumers and by private health insurance (PHI). These two funding sources are becoming increasingly more important as the cost of medicines rises and a smaller proportion of this cost is subsidized by the PBS," study leader Senthil Lingaratnam, clinical and research pharmacist from the Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre, said today.

For complete media release, please download file below.