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News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

New Committee Chair to lead assessment of medical devices listings

Health Industry Hub | January 25, 2023 |

MedTech News: Streamlining the listing of new medical devices and reviewing the functions of the Prostheses List Advisory Committee (PLAC) has been a key feature of the Prostheses List (PL) reforms.

The Government has announced the appointment of the current Chair of the PLAC, Emeritus Professor Terry Campbell AM, as Chair of the new Medical Devices and Human Tissue Advisory Committee (MDHTAC).

The MDHTAC will be replacing the PLAC to provide recommendations and advice about the comparative clinical effectiveness and cost effectiveness of medical devices and human tissue products on the prostheses list (PL), including the benefits payable by private health insurers.

Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler MP, said “The Government is working to better align private system prices for surgical devices with those paid within the public health system. Our priority is to make sure all Australians can access affordable medical devices and the taxpayer gets value for money – in the public and private health systems.”

Matthew Koce, CEO of Members Health Fund Alliance, said “The Health Minister’s announcement is an important step in the right direction for improved governance of medically implanted devices funded by private health insurers. We are particularly pleased that the new arrangements remove the involvement of stakeholders with direct and indirect pecuniary interests that could conflict with their duties on such a Committee.”

He added “Prostheses regulation in Australia has been heavily influenced by big global medical technology companies and beset by too much controversy for far too long. Members Health has long advocated for a more independent, objective and professional regulatory approval process. The reforms announced by Minister Butler align with these principles and will help restore public confidence.

“It is staggering that the cost of medically implanted devices, can be many times more expensive in Australia than overseas.”

Meanwhile, the Australian Medical Association (AMA) has urged health insurers to deliver value for money for policyholders. The latest Private Health Insurance Report Card has revealed that people paying premiums for private health insurance face products that can leave them paying hundreds of dollars more, depending on their health fund, when they undergo the same procedure in the same hospital performed by the same doctor.

Minister Butler said “The Government looks forward to working closely with Professor Campbell and the Medical Devices and Human Tissue Advisory Committee to modernise and streamline how health technologies are used and funded.”

The new Committee will begin on 1 July 2023 and meet at least three times a year. It will include members with expertise in highly technical/specialised surgery and interventional work, health technology, health economic and/or consumer representation and will be supported by six Expert Clinical Advisory Groups. 

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