January 1st 2016 PBS Changes

As the New Year creeps up on us, there has been two important changes made to the PBS system effective from January 1st 2016. These changes affect which medications are covered under the PBS scheme, and the minimum price to be paid by you, and if there are any real savings to the patient.

 

 

Important Changes to How the Government Funds Your Medicines From 1st January 2016

From the 1st of January 2016 the government will be de-listing a number of medications from the PBS. The medications are ones that are available over the counter so that government has decided to no longer fund them.

Please be assured that these medications will continue to be available, but you will no longer be able to have them covered under a pension or concession card, nor will you require a prescription to buy them. Some of the items will continue to be covered for repat (DVA) clients.

The affected medicines are listed on the bottom of this page. Of note, the list includes Panamax®, Panadol Osteo® and Aspirin tablets, which are some of the most widely used medicines on the PBS.

For all of these medicines, we will ensure we offer you the best possible over the counter price and we will continue to offer our price match guarantee on all of the products we stock.

Medicines no longer on the PBS from 1st January 2016

 

Mylanta P Liquid and tablets

Gastrogel Liquid

Gaviscon P Liquid

Aspirin 100mg tablets

Solprin 300mg tablets

Dulcolax Suppositories

Bisacodyl Suppositories

Chlorsig Eye Drops and Ointment

Ferro-tab

Ferro-F-tab

Folic Acid tabs 500mcg & 5mg 

Vitamin B-12 Injection

Mycostatin/Nilstat Oral Drops

Paracetamol 500mg tabs (Panadol, Panamax, Parapane)

Panamax Liquid

Paracetamol 665mg tablets (Panadol Osteo/Osteomol) 

 

 

PBS Prescription Prices

Effective as of next year pharmacies will be allowed to discount the PBS patient co-payment (the minimum amount you are required to pay per prescription whilst the government covers the rest) by up to $1. This means that instead of paying $6.20 per prescription item, you can pay only $5.20. There are a couple of points to keep in mind though about this system, and I  have created a little table below to show you the difference it can make to you.

Please note a few points:

- This allowable  discount is subsidised by the pharmacy, and the government will save it's money by not allowing us to count the discount towards your PBS safety net value.

- Any prescriptions dispensed early under the Safety Net 20 day  rule cannot be discounted under law.

 

Please find here a  table of the 2 options you may have. Please advise us as to which option would you like to take, and remember that we always have our Price Match policy in effect.

 

 

                 OPTION A                                                 OPTION B

$1 Discount          No Discount 
 Pay $5.20 per script    Pay $6.20 per script
 Safety Net Value = $372    Safety Net Value = $372
 Number of scripts needed = 72    Number of scripts needed = 60
 Reach Safety Net LATER    Reach Safety Net EARLIER
 LESS TIME in 2016 with FREE scripts    MORE TIME in 2016 with FREE scripts

 

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Ask George - Vitamin D

Summer is here and it's the best time to have your Vitamin D levels increased by the sun. But is it really the best option? Why do we need Vitamin D? Did you know that Vitamin D is actually a hormone?Despite our ongoing dun exposure, Australians, especially West Australians have some of the lowest Vitamin D levels. The reason for this that we need to get at least 10 minutes of good sun exposure every day to increase Vitamin D levels in the body. Good sun exposure is that point where your skin starts to turn red, so many of us tend to burn before we absorb enough sunlight to convert to Vitamin D.    

 

Why is it so important?

Vitamin D Deficiency has been linked to many cancers, high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, depression, fibromyalgia, chronic muscle pain, osteoporosis, osteopenia (bone loss) and even to autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis.

 

How can we increase our Vitamin D Levels?

 

 

  1.  Have your 25-OH Vitamin D levels Tested.

Optimal ranges for optimal health are between 40-65 ng/ml. Those with darker skin tones will have lower levels of 25-OH Vitamin D. The melanin in darker skin tones, blocks ultraviolet light from being able to produce Vitamin D in our bodies.

  1.  
  2. Take the correct type of Vitamin D supplement

Vitamin D3 is the active form, and many supplements and prescriptions contain Vitamin D2 which is not biologically active.

If you are deficient, supplementing with 2000 – 5000 IU of Vitamin D3 daily for 3 months (under a doctor’s supervision) is a good way to increase your levels. Once they have reached the optimal range, taking a maintenance dose of 1000 – 2000 IU daily is a good idea. Those people who spend more time indoors may need to take higher doses. Please ensure you are being supervised by a doctor when started and maintaining supplementation.

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  2. If you don't like the idea of taking multiple tablets, we can compound vitamin D into higher doses per tablet at a very competitive price.
  3.  
  4. Eat Dietary sources of Vitamin D which include the following:
  • Fish Liver Oils (Cod Liver Oil) – 1 tbsp (15ml) contains 1360IU of Vitamin D
  • Cooked Wild Salmon – 100 grams contains 360 IU
  • Cooked Mackerel – 100 grams contains 345 IU
  • One Whole Egg – contains 20 IU
  • Porcini mushrooms – 114 grams contains 400 IU

This vitamin is critical for good health. Start aiming for optimal levels under your doctor’s supervision and watch how your health improves!

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