Are we paying too much for generic pharmaceuticals?


Event details


Date & time

Tuesday 13 April 2010


Acton Lecture Theatre, #132 JG Crawford Building, ANU


Dr Philip Clarke


Ben Grono
6125 5559
The average cost of some generic pharmaceutical drugs in Australia is more than ten times higher than for the same drugs in England. As of October 2009 the cumulative loss to the Australian community from paying more for generic statins (drugs that lower cholesterol) was more than 900 million dollars. Furthermore, low cost generic brands are not as commonly prescribed in Australia as they are in England, which also substantially adds to pharmaceutical expenditure. Dr Clarke argues that there needs to be a clearly defined set of policy objectives for pharmaceutical pricing in Australia. Alternative pricing arrangements that provide incentives to lower the price of statins and increase the proportion of generic prescriptions could potentially save the Australian community up to 9 billion dollars over the next ten years. His study has compared changes in the cost of statins following patent expiry in Australia and England.

Dr Philip Clarke is Associate Professor at the Sydney School of Public Health, Sydney University. He took up this appointment in 2006 after spending six years engaged in health economic research at the University of Oxford. While based in Oxford he was primarily involved in the economic analysis of the United Kingdom Prospective Diabetes Study (UKPDS) a landmark trial of policies to improve the management of people with Type 2 diabetes. His health economic research interests include developing methods to value the benefits of improving access to health care, health inequalities and the use of simulation models in health economic evaluation. He has also undertaken policy relevant research for the World Bank, the OECD and AusAID.

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