Diabetes Australia welcomes cheaper, more convenient access to medicines 27 April 2023 Diabetes Australia welcomes the Albanese Government’s reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme that will save some people living with diabetes up to $180 a year. From 1 September people will be able to access two-months’ worth of 320 medicines from a single prescription. This means people will pay less for their medicines. Diabetes Australia Group CEO Justine Cain said the move would ease cost-of-living pressures on Australians living with diabetes and make managing the condition just a little bit easier. “Diabetes is a complex condition and living with it can be expensive. Many people need regular visits to a number of different health professionals so we welcome, on behalf of Australia’s diabetes community, anything that helps make life just a little easier,” Ms Cain said. “Many people living with diabetes are taking two or three medicines to help them manage it and then on top of that, there are other medicines to manage other conditions such as blood pressure, heart issues, mental health challenges and various other health issues. “The cost of these medicines can pile up and we’ve heard from many people about how hard it can be to pay for all of these prescriptions particularly as people also struggle to deal with the cost-of-living pressures brought about by rising inflation. “We are pleased Health Minister Mark Butler is listening to people living with diabetes and acting to ensure they can continue to prioritise their health.” Yvonne Appleby, who lives with type 2 diabetes and is a member of Diabetes Australia’s Community Advisory Committee said the changes would make her life easier. ““Every month I’ve got to pay for medicines for diabetes, chronic asthma and blood pressure as well as regular health appointments. The costs all add up,” Ms. Appleby said. “It is really stressful trying to prioritise my health as everything else gets more expensive, so I’d really like to thank the Australian Government for these changes.” Diabetes Australia Health Professional Advisory Council member Dr Konrad Kangru who works in regional Queensland said the changes would make life easier for people living with diabetes. “We know that most people get their scripts filled after they visit their GP so these changes make it much more convenient for people to get their health sorted in one go,” Dr Kangru said. “Some people in regional areas only come into town every month or so and these changes will certainly make life easier for them.” Ms Cain said the organisation supported the Government’s suggestion that savings from these reforms be reinvested in community pharmacy. “Community pharmacy is such an important part of our health system and a really important source of health advice and support for people living with diabetes,” Ms Cain said. A full list of the 320 medicines eligible for longer prescriptions can be found here.