Bills Digest no. 170 2008–09
National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical and Other
Benefits Cost Recovery) Bill 2008 [No. 2]
This Digest was prepared for debate. It reflects the legislation as
introduced and does not canvass subsequent amendments. This Digest
does not have any official legal status. Other sources should be
consulted to determine the subsequent official status of the
Contact officer & copyright details
introduced: 12 May
House: House of Representatives
Portfolio: Health and Ageing
Sections 1-3: on Royal
Assent. Schedule 1: 1 July 2008.
Links: The relevant
links to the Bill, Explanatory Memorandum and second reading
speech can be accessed via BillsNet, which is at http://www.aph.gov.au/bills/.
When Bills have been passed they can be found at ComLaw, which is
purpose of the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical and Other
Benefits Cost Recovery) Bill 2008 [No. 2] (the Bill) is to amend
the National Health Act 1953 (the Act) by introducing
provisions that will authorise the Commonwealth Government to
impose fees, and thereby recover costs associated with the services
and activities related to listing medicines on the Pharmaceutical
Benefits Scheme (PBS) or designating vaccines for the National
Immunisation Program (NIP).
The fees, which would generally be
paid by the pharmaceutical industry, will be prescribed in the
regulations under the Act.
It is noted that the
provisions in the Bill are identical to those proposed in the
National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical and Other Benefits Cost
Recovery) Bill 2008 (the No. 1 Bill) that was introduced on 29 May
2008, but was not passed by the Senate in August 2008.
Consequently, for information about the background, key
issues, financial implications and commentary on the main
provisions of this Bill, please refer to the Bills Digest for the
No. 1 Bill.
Please note also that the proposed cost recovery measures were
reviewed by the Senate Standing Committee on Community Affairs (the
Committee) in 2008, which inquired into both the No. 1 Bill and
subsequent draft regulations. It is noted that the Committee recommended that
the Senate pass the Bill and subsequently concluded that the draft regulations
satisfactorily addressed issues raised during the Committee s
earlier inquiry into the No. 1 Bill.
The peak lobby group for the pharmaceuticals industry, Medicines
Australia (MA), has reiterated its opposition to the proposal. MA
has continued to argue that it is fundamentally inappropriate for
the industry to pay for government procurement. However, since the Bill was
re-introduced, there has not appeared to be any additional comment
from stakeholders appearing before the Committee during its
inquiries in 2008, such as the Australian Medical Association and
Palliative Care Australia.
Members, Senators and Parliamentary staff can obtain further
information from the Parliamentary Library on (02) 6277 2503.
. Senator Joe Ludwig, Second Reading Speech: National
Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical and Other Benefits Cost Recovery)
Bill 2008 [No. 2], Senate, Hansard, 14 May 2009, p. 2808.
See also Nicola Roxon, Minister for Health and Ageing, Second
Reading Speech: National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical and Other
Benefits Cost Recovery) Bill 2008, House of Representatives,
Hansard, 29 May 2008, p. 65.
Rebecca de Boer
12 June 2009
Bills Digest Service
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