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Working paper

Comparing drug prices in Australia and the USA: the implications of the US-Australia free trade agreement

Free trade Pharmaceuticals Fair trading regulation Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) Australia United States of America

With the third round of trade negotiations currently underway, this paper explores possible consequences of relaxing pharmaceutical-pricing regulations. At a time when many countries are struggling with rising pharmaceutical costs, the ability of the PBS to control the price Australia pays for new medicines helps to manage expenditures and thus ensures the sustainability of the scheme. The PBS ensures value for money for Australian taxpayers, but this could change if the views of the pharmaceutical corporations prevail in the negotiations for a free trade agreement between Australia and the US.

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