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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Access to innovative medicines fundamental to the economic recovery, says Medicines Australia

Health Industry Hub | March 23, 2021 |

Pharma News: Medicines Australia’s 2021-22 Pre-Budget Submission calls on the Government to ensure timely access to newly invented treatments and the viable supply of existing medicines considering the international moves on reference pricing.

Throughout the pandemic, Medicines Australia and its member companies have focussed on ensuring Australians have access to the medicines they need, when they need them. At the same time, they have expedited the research, development, and distribution of innovative diagnostics, treatments and vaccines for COVID-19 – to manage the public health crisis and support the nation’s recovery.

“The events of 2020/21 have clearly shown the health of Australians is inextricably linked to the strength of our economy,” said Medicines Australia CEO, Ms Elizabeth de Somer.

“Members of Medicines Australia are central to the COVID-19 vaccine roll-out playing a significant role in protecting our community from the virus. We are extremely proud of the speed, determination and substantial efforts in the innovative vaccine research and development, together with the work of all companies actively contributing to the COVID-19 public health response,” she said.

“Beyond the pandemic, we need to ensure other innovative therapies continue to arrive and support our nation’s overall health and economic stability – keeping Australians working, children participating in school, reducing our hospital costs, decreasing the burden of disease, maintaining our overall productivity and building jobs,” added Ms de Somer.

Working with the Federal Government, Medicines Australia is seeking to ensure the nation’s healthcare system continues to deliver lifesaving and life-changing medicines, therapies, and vaccines to Australians, in 2021 and beyond.

“We are calling on the Government to prioritise the fulfillment of existing commitments, while supporting initiatives that secure the health of Australians and the economy, now and into the future,” said Ms de Somer.

“Every innovative medicine made available in Australia generates a significant return on investment to the patient, the community, the economy, and the Government.

“While we are acutely aware of the constraints the Federal Budget is under; access to innovative healthcare, including vaccines and medicines, must be a fundamental and essential contributor to our economic recovery and to our robust future,” said Ms de Somer.

In addition to COVID-19; the country’s growing and ageing population, together with rapid advances in medical innovation, will continue to place pressure on the Federal Budget. To ensure Australians’ access to innovative medicines and universal healthcare is secure over the long-term, Government investment into the PBS must be sustained.

“Unlike other areas of government spending, the PBS has a number of in-built savings measures that allow it to operate in a fiscally sustainable way. Medicines Australia remains committed to working with the Australian Government to fully deliver on the commitments it has made in previous Budgets, whilst developing solutions to address the potential challenges Australian patients may face, in 2021 and beyond,” said Ms de Somer.

Australia’s research-based medicines industry contributes approximately $9 billion to the local economy; employs (directly and indirectly) around 23,000 Australians; invests more than $1 billion annually into research and development, which helps over 33,000 Australians get early access to new and emerging therapies; and exports an estimated $1.6 billion of medicinal products. This is in addition to the significant and unquantified benefits the medicines industry provides to the health and wellbeing of Australians and its flow-on effects to the economy.


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