A look into Corporate fraud in Australia, Stranglehold of Monopolies, Telecommunications Oppression, Biased Law System, Corporate influence in politics, Industrial Relations disadvantaging workers, Outsourcing Australian Jobs, Offshore Banking, Petrochemical company domination, Invisibly Visible.
It's not what you see, it's what goes on behind the scenes.
COMMONWEALTH OF AUSTRALIA (ABN: 122 104 616)
Australia's Prime Minister (CEO) Tony Abbott : "Australia is Open for Business"
Friday, May 9, 2014
Taxpayers footing $200 million bill for combination therapies due to loophole
Rip off ... a loophole on combination medicines is costing taxpayers $200 million a year. Source: News Limited
TAKING one pill that combines your medication instead of two might
be convenient for the patient but a “scandalous” government loophole
means it is costing taxpayers $200 million a year.
And general consumers are worse off when they buy some of these
treatments — such as the anti-blood clotting clopidogrel plus aspirin
combination, which costs them $15.02 a packet more than if they bought
the medicines separately.
A new study to be published on Monday in the Medical Journal Australia has found drug companies are using the new combination therapies to avoid government price cuts to generic medicines.
the government acted to close the loophole it could save $800 million
over the next four years, more than the $750 million it will save under
its controversial plan to impose a $6 charge on GP visits.
There are currently more than 20 combination drugs on the
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and around 10 are more expensive to the
government than if patients purchased the medicines separately.
University Health economist Professor Philip Clarke describes the
loophole as “scandalous” and “one of the greatest loopholes of all
Under our medicines subsidy scheme these combination
therapies are initially given subsidy approval because when they are
first listed they cost around one cent less than the cost of the main
treatment on its own.
But when the main treatment comes off patent
and faces generic competition its price is cut dramatically under the
government’s price disclosure policy.
Just before this happens the
drug company that makes the combination treatment puts another brand of
the combination drug on the PBS.
Under a government loophole this
means the price of the two drugs in the combination treatment are no
longer compared to the cheaper price of their individual components.
they are compared only to the other combination therapy listed by the
same drug company at the same price and they escape any generic price
Professor Clarke says the most glaring example is the
combination therapy that includes amlodipine (for blood pressure) and
Atorvastatin (for lowering blood cholesterol). It currently costs the
government just $76.10 a month when a patient takes this combination
pill but the price to the government would be just $40.78 if the patient
purchased the two pills separately.
The government is paying
$54.96 for the combination treatment clopidogrel plus aspirin when
clopidogrel on its own costs just $20.88 and aspirin cost just $1 a pack
in a supermarket.
General consumers who buy this
clopidogrel/aspirin combination drug pay $36.90 when they would save
$15.02 if they bought the treatments separately.
In most cases it will always be cheaper for pensioners to buy these combination therapies because they only pay $6 for scripts.
this year when the price of the anti-cholesterol pill atorvastatin
falls again general consumers using the amlodipine and Atorvastatin
combination pill will be better off purchasing the drugs separately,
Professor Clarke says.
The high prices of these medicines means
the UK does not use these combination therapies even though research
shows people are more likely to comply with their medicine regime using
Professor Clarke says a new pricing framework is needed to
ensure combination therapies remain a cost effective option for the
government and consumers.
news.com.au 28 Apr 2014
Aside from the fact that taxation collection in the manner that is done by the ATO is unlawful, the authorities are acting in a corrupt way, defrauding or extorting the general populous of their personal finances. The common understanding of rip off is fraud or theft.