From 1 December 2011 a new initiative will be introduced with the aim to reduce PBS expenditure on chemotherapy medicines used in the treatment of cancer and administered through intravenous infusion or injection. This will result in changes to the PBS and new remuneration arrangements.
The revised arrangements will result in more cost-efficient prescribing and dispensing practices by:
• requiring prescribers to write dose-specific, infusion and injection-based prescriptions using an appropriate unit of measure without specific reference to forms and strengths, and
• only paying approved suppliers and pharmacists for the most cost-efficient combination of vials that makes up a patient’s dose.
For approved pharmacists who dispense chemotherapy medicines:
• pharmacists will only be paid for the most cost-efficient combination of vials that make up a patient’s dose, and
• the specialist nature of approved pharmacies will be acknowledged with a series of new fees, depending on where chemotherapy medicines are claimed.
These fees include:
• distribution fee
• diluent fee
• preparation fee, and
• dispensing fee.
The revised arrangements will be implemented under a new s100 special arrangement and help the Australian Government support cancer patients by minimising waste and cost of chemotherapy medicines.
All medicine that meets the criteria for inclusion in the measure, including trastuzumab (Herceptin®), will be subject to the new prescribing, dispensing and claiming arrangements.
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