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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Medicines Australia emphasises reform priorities for next Government

Health Industry Hub | May 20, 2022 |
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Pharma News: Medicines Australia has set the scene for major health reform by the next Government by alerting hundreds of key stakeholders to get ready to engage in the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review, which is due to start in July.

Ahead of Saturday’s election, Medicines Australia this week sent out more than 300 letters to stakeholders explaining the importance of the upcoming HTA Review to them and inviting them to get involved in consultation with the Government, the bureaucracy, and the sector.

Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said that this is the first step in ensuring the Review includes representation from across the Australian community and that all stakeholders – including patients and patient groups – have enough lead time to understand and participate in the process.

“The HTA Review must be a priority for the next Government and the major parties have committed to its implementation,” Ms de Somer said.

“We must reform Australia’s HTA systems and processes, so Australians have faster access to innovative medicines and health improvements.”

Medicines Australia has been assured in official communications from the respective Campaign Headquarters that both the Coalition and Labor parties remain committed to pursuing the major medicines policy reforms following this weekend’s election – whoever wins.

Sanofi medical leader highlights the significance of multiple stakeholder voices in the HTA review

The communication from the Coalition stated “Our Government will continue to work with Medicines Australia to support and promote timely reimbursed access to new medicines for Australian patients through this [Strategic] Agreement… The Morrison Government is committed to elevating the patient voice and enhancing consumer engagement through the PBAC assessment process.” and “…continuing the collaborative review process to ensure national medicines policies remain fit-for-purpose…”

Labor’s communication on their commitments was similar, with the addition of “Labor will also review the appointment of Dr Peter Boxall as the independent chair of the HTA Review”, which is aligned with Medicines Australia’s request.

Ms de Somer continued “This [HTA] reform is the first of its kind in 30 years and the many different experiences and needs across the Australian landscape must be considered.

“These [stakeholder] letters are the first step to ensure there is diversity and representation from all stakeholders and to ensure small organisations – such as some patient groups who have limited resources – have enough time to form their own opinions and engage with this process.

“The HTA Review will be independently chaired and driven by a Reference Committee of representatives from industry, Government, and patient groups.

“We will be engaging with the new Health Minister early next week about key health priorities for the next Government which need urgent attention, including the HTA Review and the National Medicines Policy.

“We will be seeking agreement on finalising the HTA Review Reference Committee, including the independent Chair, and setting the Terms of Reference for the Review.”


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