#1in10Challenge – Day 4

“The PBS Schedule lists all of the medicines available to be dispensed to patients at a Government-subsidised price. The Schedule is part of the wider Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme managed by the Department of Health and administered by Services Australia. 

This schedule is now on-line and updated on a monthly basis.” – pbs.gov.au 

One very important medicine type that is not covered under PBS is canabanoids. 

In Australia canabandoids are currently used for children with hard to control epilepsy which has many patients on it. 

Studies are currently underway for adults with hard to control epilepsy and the psychological benefits. 

This medicine could benefit so many Australians and hopefully will in the future but we currently face a spiral that withholds that help from reaching its full potential.  

Doctors are reluctant to prescribe it because of the price due to it not being covered by the PBS. 

On average, an Australian on a canabanoid medicine will spend approximately $3,600AUD out of pocket a year on that one medicine. 

Doctors don’t want to burden families with that kind of toll on their bank accounts as most Australians can’t afford that or at least not comfortably. 

The problem with this is, the government typically needs to see the demand for the medicine via enough people buying it to get it on the PBS. Of course you can’t see the demand when doctors won’t prescribe it for the price.  

This is the spiral I referred to earlier. 

I’m often asked how I feel about canabanoids and I was recently asked how I feel about canabanoids and the PBS. I fully support canabanoids and I believe the government needs to look at the studies that have been and are being conducted that will tell them roughly how many Australian this medicine could help. Use that information to get the stats they need to put canabanoid on the PBS.  

What’s the point of having such a wonderful and powerful medicine that can benefit more Australians than we currently know of if nobody can use it because they can’t afford it.


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