Almost a quarter of non-concession card holders are struggling to afford medications, according to the Pharmacy Guild of Australia.
More than one in ten - 13 per cent - have not filled a script over the last three years due to cost.
While most of the factors driving the rising cost of living are out of the federal government's direct control, what families pay for prescription medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme is something it can slash immediately, says the Guild.
National president Trent Twomey, says the government has few practical levers to reign in the rising cost of living.
"One area it can act on is making medicines more affordable, and it's an area that voters are clearly wanting action on," he says.
"Our research shows that a staggering 24 per cent of non-concession card holders are struggling to afford their medicines. More than one in ten - 13 per cent - have not filled a script over the last three years due to cost.
"The current general co-payment level of $42.50 is making medicines a luxury for middle income families.
"According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, 900,000 people delayed getting their prescriptions filled because of the cost.
"This is a damning situation, but it is one which the government has the power to act on - and act on immediately."
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Professor Twomey says many reports indicated the upcoming election would be about addressing the cost of living and health issues.
"Here we have one measure that helps address both these concerns.
"Making medicines more affordable will also translate into a long-term saving by improving people's health and reducing the burden on the broader hospital and health system.
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