Drug policy down under: Australia's pharmaceutical benefits scheme Academic Article uri icon


  • Australia has had a government subsidized universal system of pharmaceutical provision for 50 years. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) consumes around 14 percent of total government health care expenditures and has grown substantially in both range of drugs covered, and expenditure since it was first introduced in 1950. It incorporates patient copayments (with differentials for the general population compared with concessional beneficiaries). Prior to listing a drug on the PBS it is subject to a rigorous cost-effectiveness analysis.

publication date

  • March 1, 2004