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    It seems that there are almost as many people with grand ideas on how to save money in the PBS as there are products listed on it. In the interests of transparency may we know who were the ‘experts’ present at the roundtable, and who sent the invitations? The reason I ask is that it seems to me that events like this rarely include people with direct experience working in the programmes.

    If they did then someone would have been able to point out that:

    a) generic prices at the level of those in NZ can only be achieved by removing any semblance of choice (which I personally don’t have a problem with but it’s politically difficult to sell)

    b) generic prices have already dropped massively with price disclosure (which doesn’t mean I think it’s a good idea – it’s clunky and labour intensive)

    c) this is the kicker, anyone who had even the most basic understanding of how the PBS works would realize that encouraging the use of generics instead of original brands doesn’t make a damn bit of difference when they are reference priced!

    So Croakey – how about telling us who was there and what qualifies them to air their views? Who are these self appointed ‘experts’?

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      Jennifer Doggett

      Jennifer Doggett

      I wasn’t at the Roundtable so I can’t answer your questions but I have attended similar AHHA events and there have been speakers and participants with experience in a number of different areas of the health system, including the PBS. If you would like further details I suggest you contact the AHHA directly at

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    Len Moaven

    I think Treenan is touching on the crux of the matter….vested or conflicts of interest. I don’t think it is usually malicious……for example I am sure that many people have a pure belief in flu anti virals….and as long as it causes no harm I don’t have a particular problem with a belief system. But inevitably in medicine it costs money. I am not sure that a truly objective view can be found….we all have sublimable axes to grind…..doctors….healthcare workers….patients…politicians. I believe that the only pragmatic solution to keeping a lid on healthcare costs all is a user pays system…..with all the equitable access caveats. I believe that stuff that is ‘free’ is generally wasted. How many napkins do you use at McDonalds?


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