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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

HTA Review final report to government pushed to early May

Health Industry Hub | April 16, 2024 |

Pharma News: The Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review Reference Committee is finalising its report and recommendations for the Australian Government, which encompasses insights gathered from Consultations 1 and 2, extensive deliberations, as well as thorough examination of research papers and analyses.

The Reference Committee asked for a short extension until 4 May 2024 which the Minister for Health and Aged Care, Mark Butler MP has granted.

Liz de Somer, CEO of Medicines Australia told Health Industry Hub, “The industry raised concerns about slipping timelines late last year, but ultimately want to see bold HTA reform with the best outcomes for patients, clinicians and our members in the final report. A stronger PBS is in the national interest.”

Despite the closure of the HTA Review consultation 2 nearly two month ago, stakeholders are still awaiting the Department of Health’s publication of the submissions online.

When probed on the lack of transparency, Health Industry Hub was told “Extensive input was received through Consultation 2. Submissions will be published along with the consultation report which will be released once finalised by the independent facilitators, Bastion Insights.”

Pharmaceutical companies such as Pfizer and GSK have already voiced their concerns regarding the lack of alignment of proposed options in consultation 2 with the overarching goals of the HTA Review.

Pfizer emphasised disappointment over the “lack of bold reform to improve the value attributed to innovative medicines”. GSK echoed similar sentiments, stating that the proposed options “do not go far enough to deliver on the objective of the Review or for Australians” and “do not reflect the government’s broader vision set out in the National Medicines Policy (NMP)”.

Consumer Health Forum (CHF) emphasised the importance of a unified process to enhance access to health technologies while expressing concerns about potential execution challenges.

Australia’s Cell & Gene Catalyst, a national joint venture of AusBiotech and Medicines Australia, referred to a high-level principles-based framework for accepting and assessing real world evidence for cell and gene therapies, instead of randomised control trial evidence and surrogate health outcomes.

“We hope that once the Minister receives the HTA Review report that he will reaffirm his commitment to bold reform that improves Australia’s HTA system for the benefit of patients and the future investment from industry, and that he releases the report promptly,” Ms de Somer added.

The wait surrounding the HTA Review outcomes underscore the complex interplay between consumer voice, industry perspectives, and the government’s willingness for bold reforms heading into an election year.

In reimagining healthcare across the entire patient journey, Health Industry HubTM is the only one-stop-hub bringing the diversity of Pharma, MedTech, Diagnostics & Biotech sectors together to inspire meaningful change.

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