MBS says it has enough drugs in stock to handle the 11 diseases it covers, but specialized meds might not be readily available

The Medical Benefits Scheme (MBS) is confirming that – contrary to reports otherwise – it has adequate supplies of medication to meet beneficiaries’ needs.

In a media release, the Scheme reassures the public that it has in stock enough drugs to manage the 11 chronic non-communicable diseases it covers.

In spite of the challenges impacting the global supply chain and securing medication overseas, the Scheme says it continues relationships with traditional sources and is forging alliances with new suppliers to ensure it has adequate supplies.

Patients reportedly have complained that they are not able to access specialized drugs for other conditions.

However, the MBS says that Specially Authorized Drugs (SADs) –requested by a specialist physician on behalf of a patient – must be processed in a standardized manner through the MBS Board and its sub-committee.

“These drugs are generally more expensive and may not be readily available through MBS,” the release acknowledges.

If the prescribed drug is not on its formulary, the Scheme explains, the request will have to be reviewed by the MBS Board before authorization is given. Thereafter, the MBS procures the medication on behalf of the beneficiary.