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Logo of bmjThis ArticleThe BMJ
BMJ. 2007 September 22; 335(7620): 578.
PMCID: PMC1989025
Drug Pricing

Author's reply

Ike Iheanacho, editor, Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin

Burnand gives a predictable, if disappointing, response from an industry that has done very well out of the unequivocally flawed Pharmaceutical Price Regulation Scheme. In seeking to challenge the basic principles of value based systems, the response attempts to downgrade some instances of where such pricing has provided tangible societal benefits, while completely sidestepping other examples (such as the systems in Canada and Sweden). The dig at the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme in Australia is superficial and potentially misleading, and those seeking a more balanced view of the regulation of drug prices in that country (including recent changes) would do well to look elsewhere.1 2 3 4

Reforming the pricing system in the UK will require constructive contributions from the pharmaceutical industry, for which Burnand's comments are a poor model.


Competing interests: None declared.


1. Australian Government, Department for Health and Ageing. Strengthening your PBS—preparing for the future. 2006.$File/strengthening -your-PBS161106.pdf
2. Australian Government, Department for Health and Ageing. The pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS) reform. 2006.$File/PBS%20Reform%202Feb07.pdf
3. Searles A, Jefferys S, Doran E, Henry DA. Reference pricing, generic drugs and proposed changes to the pharmaceutical benefits scheme. Med J Aust 2007;187:236-9. [PubMed]
4. Harvey KJ, Harris AH, Bulfone L. The national health amendment (pharmaceutical benefits scheme) bill 2007: reform or fracture? Med J Aust 2007;187:206-7. [PubMed]

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