‘Rebate cuts won’t impact patients’

NO PATIENTS at the Riverina Cancer Care Centre (RCCC) will be impacted by the federal government’s slashing of a chemotherapy rebate despite claims it will force the closure of some regional centres.
Nanjing Night Net

RCCC managing director Damien Williams moved to allay fears yesterday saying the rebate cuts would not see patients charged an extra cent or close its doors.

“This reform of chemotherapy drugs funding goes back two years,” Mr Williams said. “It is not going to have an impact on the centre and certainly not on patients.

“It’s not an issue for us, it’s an issue between the drug companies and the pharmacies.”

From December 1, the government will reduce subsides by 70 per cent for the common chemotherapy drug Docetaxel, which is used to treat breast, ovarian, prostate and lung cancer.

The rebate cuts were made to ensure pharmacists only claim in rebates what they pay for the drug.

However, concerns have been voiced the changes will force the closure of regional centres after St Andrew’s Toowoomba Hospital said it would cost the hospital between $800,000 and $1 million a year.

A number of bodies including the Cancer Council and Private Cancer Physicians of Australia have voiced their concerns saying the change could compromise patient safety and see costs passed on to patients and their families.

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