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Chemotherapy Drug Cost Cuts a Concern

|Nov 22|magazine4 min read

A 70 per cent cut price cut for Docetaxel, a well known chemotherapy medication, has Queensland and Victoria’s health practitioners and pharmacists concerned over the costs that will impact private chemotherapy services, hospitals and patients, The Australian reported this week.  

St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital in Queensland told the newspaper that its chemotherapy services could risk closing by December 1 as a result, and many private patients may be forced to seek healthcare from the public sector.

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Health Minister Tanya Plibersek, however, rejected the notion put forth by the Australian Private Hospitals Association that more facility closures were to be expected.

"No, I absolutely won't accept that," Ms Plibersek told The Australian. "I would be very disappointed to hear that when we continue as a government to pay completely for these medicines. The services that go along with chemotherapy treatment are something that hospitals have to factor in."

A potential compromise will likely see the 70 per cent cut remain, but the amount pharmacists make to dispense the chemotherapy drugs could be bumped up by $100.