The Government’s administration of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is in the spotlight this month with a public inquiry into the deferral of medicines and possible repercussions for the pharmaceutical sector.

Stakeholders have until next Friday, July 15, to submit their applications to The Finance and Public Administration References Committee for the public hearing, to be held in Canberra and Melbourne the following week.

The Senate inquiry and report, which is due to be tabled in Parliament by August 18, 2011 will investigate the consequences for the pharmaceutical sector and patients with the deferral of listing medicines on the PBS, the impact of deferrals on the future availability of medicines in the Australian market, and the criteria and advice used by the Government prior to a deferral.

The Committee is also seeking applications for other related matters, including compliance with the intent of the Memorandum of Understanding signed with Medicines Australia, and the financial impact on the Budget with the deferral of medicine listings.

Interested healthcare and wellbeing stakeholders should submit their application online or by email to