Mark Butler’s ‘pills for middle-aged men’ joke gets Parliament laughing

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Cheeky moment Anthony Albanese’s ‘pills for middle-aged men’ joke gets Parliament laughing – before Peter Dutton asks what color the pills are

  • Health Minister Mark Butler made Parliament hysterical during Question Time
  • He was discussing his visit to a chemist with Anthony Albanese for political sruik
  • Joke they stocked up on ‘middle aged men like us need to go’ items
  • Peter Dutton delved into the joke by asking what color they were and how often

A joke about supplements for middle-aged men has caused chaos in Parliament as the whole chamber erupted in laughter.

On Wednesday, Health Minister Mark Butler launched the government’s plan to cut drug costs at Question Time.

He mentioned the visit he and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese made to Capital Pharmacy in Kingston, near the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, that morning.

“A wonderful pharmacy run by Sandra, and the Prime Minister and I were able to stock up on some items and [things] that middle-aged men like us need to go there every day,” he said.

Rancorous laughter erupted from across the House of Representatives before Opposition Leader Peter Dutton rose to continue the joke.

“I want to lend our support to hear more details about what the Minister is talking about, the color of the tablets, how often you take them. Glad to hear the details,” he said.

Speaker Milton Dick asked Mr Butler to revisit the subject and replied that he was ‘pleased to have a private meeting with the Leader of the Opposition’. Seriously.’

Erectile dysfunction drug Viagra is nicknamed the “little blue pill”.

There were more laughs when Madeleine King answered a question about protecting Australian cattle against lumpy skin disease and noted “we’re going LSD-free”.

Health Minister Mark Butler made the joke as he put forward the government’s plan to cut drug costs during Question Time on Wednesday

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton rose to continue the joke, asking Mr Butler

Opposition Leader Peter Dutton rose to continue the joke, asking Mr Butler ‘what color are the pills, how often do you take them’

The government on Wednesday morning proposed new laws to reduce co-payments for medicines under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

If passed by parliament, it would be the first time in the program’s 75-year history that the maximum cost of scripts would drop.

Mr Butler presented to Parliament on Wednesday the proposal to reduce the maximum co-payment under the scheme from $42.50 to $30 per prescription.

“The cost of living is skyrocketing and many Australians are cutting back on essentials just to make ends meet,” he told parliament.

“This bill will help ease the strain on household budgets for millions of Australians.”

The changes mean someone taking one drug a month could save up to $150 a year, or for two or three drugs up to $300 to $450 a year.

Mr Butler (right) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Capital Pharmacy in Kingston, near the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, that morning.

Mr Butler (right) and Prime Minister Anthony Albanese visited Capital Pharmacy in Kingston, near the Houses of Parliament in Canberra, that morning.

Pharmacy Guild of Australia chairman Trent Twomey said making prescriptions more affordable would help reduce the likelihood of people taking less medicine than prescribed or not having their prescriptions filled at all.

“Community pharmacists are increasingly hearing from patients that they simply cannot afford their medications, often faced with deciding who in the family will go without to put food on the table or pay their bills,” did he declare.

“As well as increasing the universality of access to medicines, this is a big step forward in tackling cost-of-living pressures.”

It is expected that nearly $200 million in out-of-pocket costs will be saved through the measure per year.

The proposal was a Labor election promise with the changes to be implemented from January 2023.

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