4343.0.55.001 - Coordination of Health Care Study: Use of Health Services and Medicines, Australia, 2015-16  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 18/12/2018  First Issue
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The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is part of the Australian Government’s National Medicines Policy which aims to meet medication and related service needs so that optimal health outcomes and economic objectives are achieved. Under the PBS the government subsidises the cost of prescription medicines for most medical conditions1; for example, cholesterol lowering medicines (statins) recommended for people who have or are at high risk of cardiovascular disease2.

This chapter provides foundational statistics on the use of PBS subsidised medicines in 2015-16 by persons aged 45 years and over who had at least one GP visit between November 2014 to November 2015 (the Study cohort). Detailed analysis is expected to be undertaken by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare as part of their future reporting on results of the Coordination of Health Care Study.

Almost nine in ten people (87%) in the Study cohort had at least one script filled for a PBS subsidised medicine in 2015-16, with women having a higher rate of use than men (89% compared with 84% respectively).

Graph of proportion of people who had at least one script filled for a PBS medicine in 2015-16, by age and sex


1. Australian Government Department of Health, 2018, ‘The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme: About the PBS', viewed 5 November 2018, http://www.pbs.gov.au/info/about-the-pbs#What_is_the_PBS
2. Healthdirect Australia, 2018, ‘Statins’, viewed 20 November 2018, https://www.healthdirect.gov.au/statins