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General Practitioners: PBS Deferred Listings Will Hurt Treatment Quality

Oct 12, 2011

New Process Will Negatively Impact How Australian General Practitioners Practice Medicine, According to Kantar Health Survey

SYDNEY, September 22, 2011—Australian general practitioners (GPs) believe that the government’s deferral of listing new medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) will hurt the quality of treatment that patients receive, according to research conducted by Kantar Health, a leading healthcare-focused global consultancy and marketing insights company. In addition, half of the GPs said the changes would have a negative impact on how they practice medicine.

“The government has decided to defer the listing of some medicines on the PBS, despite positive recommendations for those medicines from the Pharmaceutical Benefit Advisory Committee (PBAC), until the budget is back in surplus,” says Dr. Vince Grillo, General Manager of Kantar Health, Australia. “The GPs we surveyed expressed concern that the deferrals would lead to a lack of drug access, which in turn would cause a negative impact on patient outcomes. They’re worried they’ll need to prescribe medications based on cost rather than on the best medical treatment available. This may lead to a considerable financial burden on patients if they want to get the treatments they need.”

More than two-thirds of GPs surveyed by Kantar Health said that the changes to the PBS listing process would have a negative impact on the quality of treatment patients receive. Most commonly, they felt the changes meant that the best treatment option would not be available to patients.

Two-thirds of GPs also noted that the changes would cause long-term negative effects to the healthcare system. “While these measures may have cost savings in the short term, GPs were concerned about deterioration in patient health that may lead to higher healthcare costs over time,” Dr. Grillo says. “They also worry that the lack of new and/or essential drugs might impact the general quality of Australia’s healthcare system.”

Kantar Health conducted a five-minute online survey with 290 GPs in Australia. The research was conducted June 8-22, 2011. For more results from Kantar Health’s survey, please contact Dr. Vince Grillo at vince.grillo@kantarhealth.com.

About Kantar Health (www.kantarhealth.com)

Kantar Health is a global, evidence-based decision support partner to the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotech, device and diagnostic companies. Our 700+ staff act as catalysts, working closely with customers to drive distinctive decision-making that helps them prioritize product development and portfolios, differentiate their brands and ensure product profitability after launch. We are unique in that we bring together clinical, medical and methodological expertise, commercial/marketing know-how and proprietary data. It is this rare combination, together with our unparalleled stakeholder reach, that enables us to mobilize incisive, imaginative and timely ROI-driven solutions, empowering clients to deliver better healthcare options to their customers.

With offices in over 40 countries, we excel at solving technically or logistically challenging projects around the world and across the product lifecycle, combining on-the-ground know-how and global and national proprietary data to quickly identify value drivers. As part of WPP, we can also incorporate highly innovative thinking from outside the industry into our solutions.

Contact Information

For more information on Kantar Health, please contact Paula Paradise, Vice President of Global Marketing, at paula.paradise@kantarhealth.com or +1-484-442-1431.

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