Endometriosis is a silent torment for thousands of women and young girls. One in ten women suffer from Endo and yet most people have never heard of it. Girls as young as ten miss out on school because of severe pelvic pain associated with Endo. Diagnosis can take up to seven years. Endo often results in infertility. It costs Australia 7.7 billion dollars every year.
The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), the independent expert body which evaluates and makes recommendations to the Australian Government about new medicines for inclusion on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) has trialled its first consumer hearings.
A recent scathing audit report released by the Australian National Audit Office has highlighted extraordinary amounts of public funds allocated to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia without tender, disclosure or accountability under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement (5CPA). Given the imminent finalisation of the next Community Pharmacy Agreement, expected to cost in excess of 5CPA's $15.4 billion, the findings confirm that savings in the health budget can and should be found from wasteful expenditure rather than co-payments on health consumers for GP visits and essential services.