Drug companies are going to have to swallow some bitter medicine when the Australian parliament makes changes to drug pricing in the federal budget next Tuesday. Pharmaceutical companies have been known to more than double the price of combined medicines in one pill, compared to the medicines purchased individually. The trick doesn’t sit well with consumers or the Treasury, News.com.au writes:
“IT’S one of the greatest con jobs of all time — combine two pills in one then charge twice as much as it costs to buy the drugs separately. It will come to an end in Tuesday’s Budget…. The price of pills that combine two drugs in the one tablet could plummet as a result of a move to close a loophole that left taxpayers and consumers paying too much for these pills.” 
News Corp has been covering a variety of changes to pharmaceutical legislation, which has been criticised by the Pharmacy Guild of Australia who are petitioning members of parliament to stop the changes. The guild is concerned about the changes and the impact that it will have on small businesses already struggling to compete against large discount pharmacy chains:
“The Pharmacy Guild of Australia is fighting the changes that will mean cheaper prescriptions for consumers because it will open suburban chemists to further competition from discount chains.” 
Despite the concerns, changes are seen as a positive move for consumers and pensioners alike by News Corp media. There are $800 million in projected savings and the pensioner safety net will remain at $366.
Phamacists are not going to lose out either:
“News Corp understands pharmacists stand to win a sizeable increase in their $6.76 dispensing fee in the new five year Pharmacy Agreement.” 
The move is supported by research published in the Medical Journal of Australia which discussed the savings that could be made by amending the loophole.