Endocrine medications added to 60-day dispensing scheme


By Michael Woodhead

13 Mar 2024

Drugs for diabetes and endocrine disorders are among a list of 100 prescription medications that should be more affordable for patients after being added to the PBS 60-day continuous dispensing scheme from 1 March.

The 60-day prescription scheme means that patients can potentially get two scripts for the price of one. According to health minister Chris Butler, this means Australians without a concession card will save up to $189 per medicine, per year. Pensioners and concession cardholders will save up to $46.20 per medicine, per year.

Anti-diabetes medications added to the list include acarbose, alogliptin, dapagliflozin, empagliflozin,  glibenclamide, glicazide, glimepiride, glipizide, linagliptin, metformin, pioglitazone, saxagliptin and sitagliptin.

Other endocrine medications now available on 60-day scripts include alendronate + colecalciferol, bromocriptine, cabergoline, cyproterone, propylthiouracil, quinagolide, tamoxifen and other anti-androgens.

The move was welcomed by Diabetes Australia which said that expanding 60-day dispensing would lighten the financial burden for people living with diabetes and also reduce the need for GP and pharmacy visits for prescriptions.

“Many people living with diabetes are taking two or three medicines to manage their condition, as well as additional medications to treat other issues such as blood pressure, heart disease, or mental health challenges,” the group said in a statement.

“As the cost of these medicines pile up, we often hear from people about how hard it can be to pay for all of these prescriptions, particularly as they struggle with cost-of-living pressures.”

The AMA welcomed the second stage of the of 60-day dispensing, saying it had “long advocated for this sensible reform and supports the government’s phased introduction.”

“Expanding the list of medicines able to be prescribed for 60 days is a win for patients, especially amid cost-of-living pressures,” said President Professor Steve Robson.

“Patients who are stable on their medication will be able to receive two months of medicine, often for the price of one month and they can do it in a single trip to the pharmacy, saving them or their carers time and money.”

“It will also mean fewer visits to the GP, freeing up appointments for other patients and supporting GPs to spend more time with those patients that have more complex health care needs,” he added.

A further 100 medicines will be introduced by 1 September 2024. A full list of eligible medications is available here.

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