Senate backs inquiry into medical device pricing

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The Turnbull government has failed in its bid to block a Senate inquiry into the pricing of medical devices.

Labor has backed a move by the Nick Xenophon Team to establish the inquiry despite government arguing it simply replicates work already undertaken or underway.

The inquiry will consider the price regulation of the current Prostheses List and consider "opportunities for creating a more competitive basis for the purchase and reimbursement of prostheses."

It will also consider the role and function of the Prostheses List Advisory Committee (PLAC) and its subcommittees, the cost of medical devices and prostheses for privately insured patients versus public hospital patients, and its impact on the affordability of private health insurance.

It will even look at the benefits of international reference pricing, and "other pricing mechanism arrangements," including those used by the PBS, such as price disclosure.

The inquiry will also look at "interactions between Government decision-making and device manufacturers or stakeholders and their lobbyists."

Health Minister Sussan Ley recently announced cuts to the pricing of hips and knees (7.5 per cent) and cardiac and ophthalmic (10 per cent) devices.

The minister also appointed longstanding PBAC member Professor Terry Campbell to lead the revamped Prostheses List Advisory Committee (PLAC). The revamped PLAC also include industry representatives.