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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

First public consultation for HTA Review launched

Health Industry Hub | April 12, 2023 |

Pharma News: The first round of public consultation for the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review is open. This consultation will seeks broad engagement and focus on the objectives of the HTA Review set out in the Terms of Reference (ToR) to deliver bold reforms to how medicines are assessed, valued and made available in Australia.

Consultation 1 aims to gather evidence in relation to the objectives of the HTA Review that have not previously been considered through the House of Representatives Inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies, National Medicines Policy (NMP) Review, Conversations for Change consultation, and the draft Terms of Reference for the HTA Review.

Stakeholders including patients and consumers, clinicians and clinical groups, pharma industry and research and academic groups will be asked to support their claims with evidence and examples to assist the Reference Committee in gaining a detailed understanding of the issues, suggestions for improvements, and implementable and equitable options for reform.

Medicines Australia welcomed the official start of the HTA Review consultation saying that after 30 years it is long past time for reform to the HTA policies and methods to ensure Australians have timely access to the latest medicines and vaccines.

CEO of Medicines Australia, Elizabeth de Somer, said “We are all patients at one point in our life and our pharmaceutical benefits scheme (PBS), as part of our Medicare system should provide access to the innovative medicines, treatments and services that are needed as quickly as possible. Access should be fair and equitable, regardless of ability to pay or capacity to research what may already be available overseas.

“This consultation signals the start of a reform process that must introduce long-term thinking to speed up access to innovative medicines for today’s generation and the next. The review will run until December 2023 and a rigorous consultation process with all stakeholders will ensure the best ideas and reforms are put forward for government consideration.”

Patient Voice Initiative (PVI) has recommended to its consumer community “If you’ve already made relevant submissions to the National Medicines Policy Review or the House of Representatives Inquiry, you may not need to submit again for this particular consultation. If you haven’t yet made relevant submissions or have additional information, specific examples and evidence are sought. You might want to engage at every point, or focus on specific opportunities and reforms.”

Ms de Somer added “Substantial, enduring change cannot happen without the input and insights from everyone across the health and medicine landscape. I encourage all stakeholders to develop and put forward their ideas, present them to decision makers, and stand up for bold reform. As a member of the HTA Review Reference Committee, I will continue to advocate for a review that is consultative, collaborative, inclusive and transparent.”

Input to consultation 1 can provided via the online survey or through small-group virtual forums, held between 16 – 30 May 2023 with Reference Committee members. Submissions will be accepted until 6 June 2023.

The next phase of the HTA Review consultations will be conducted in May focussing on an in-depth understanding of complex topics, issues, challenges and opportunities from a more targeted group of stakeholders.

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