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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Medicines Australia calls for new target in timely access to novel therapies: Pre-Budget Submission

Health Industry Hub | January 28, 2022 |
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Pharma News: In its 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission, Medicines Australia has asked for firm investment in healthcare and a commitment to improve our health system for all Australians.

Medicines Australia recommends the Australian Government delivers a plan to shorten the time that patients wait for access to the latest innovative medicines, vaccines and treatments. These recommendations are well supported by the new parliamentary report The New Frontier: Delivering better health for all Australians.

“Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is going to rely on having a healthy population. We want Australians to live long, healthy lives and that can only be achieved through a reliable investment in healthcare and faster access to the latest innovative and breakthrough medicines,” said Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer.

As shown during the COVID-19 pandemic, slow access to the latest innovative medicines, vaccines and treatments profoundly impacts the economy and people’s health.

“Never have we seen medical research move forward at such speed,” said Ms de Somer. “The COVID-19 vaccines, and now COVID-19 treatments, are just the tip of the iceberg. Scientists and medical researchers are producing amazing advances in treatments for other serious diseases, and Australians deserve access to these therapies without delay.”

Australia’s healthcare system is strong, yet, when it comes to access to new medicines, Australians wait significantly longer than other similar countries. On average, over 60% of medicines become available to patients within 6 months, compared to Australia’s 22%. In its Pre-Budget Submission, Medicines Australia asks the Government to target a position in the top 5 of similar OECD countries for speed of access by 2027. Currently, Australia sits in the top 20.

In a recent interview, Ms de Somer, told Health Industry Hub “We have built strong relationships with departments and senior ministers on both sides to ensure that patients and health does remain an important conversation during the election. It gives us an opportunity to put forward our expectations of an incoming government to deliver on the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) review, the Strategic Agreement and the House of Reps Inquiry.

“The community has a tremendous influence and the patients want access to the things that will change their lives. It’s incumbent upon the government to provide the systems that enable them to get access as quickly as possible,” she added.


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