Increasingly, patients are facing the dilemma of being told that a new drug may extend their life, but it may cost thousands of dollars. The PBS was established over 60 years ago to provide timely, reliable and affordable access to necessary medicines for Australians.
The PBS has served Australia well, but it has not kept pace with the scientific advances in cancer treatment. As a result recent reimbursement of new cancer drugs is alarmingly low - Australian patients wait longer than their overseas counterparts to access the same cancer drug. This has created a gap which now has to be filled by using savings, loans or other means to afford new cancer drugs.