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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Medicine’s industry heads to next phase of ‘Stronger PBS’ campaign

Health Industry Hub | May 6, 2024 |

Pharma News: The second phase of Medicines Australia’s ‘Stronger PBS’ campaign will commence this weekend with radio and digital media advertisements, and PR activity in mainstream news channels.

The ‘Stronger PBS’ campaign aims to educate Australians about the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) through the real-life stories of people whose lives have been changed because they were able to access the medicine they need, and stories of people who are still waiting for medicines they need to be available through the PBS.

New research from the Productivity Commission unveiled Australia’s healthcare system as notably productive, offering value for money on a global scale. Surpassing all but two countries among 28 high-income nations, Australia’s healthcare productivity ranks third, trailing only Iceland and Spain.

“Australia’s healthcare spend is big and getting bigger, but we are seeing significant return on that investment through better health outcomes,” said Dr Catherine de Fontenay, Commissioner, Productivity Commission.

Medicines Australia CEO Liz de Somer said the next phase will build on the campaign’s success on social media to reach people through traditional media platforms including radio and print.

“The Stronger PBS campaign is designed to initiate a conversation with the public about the PBS including access issues that people often are not aware of until they are personally affected. We know through research that Australians love the PBS but most don’t know a lot about how it works or how long it takes for medicines to be made available through the PBS.

“People are shocked to learn it takes 466 days on average from when a medicine is approved for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to it being available through the PBS.”

Despite ongoing reforms, the most recent Department of Health data revealed slower pace in PBS listing from a positive PBAC recommendation.

Over the next month, radio ads will air in Canberra, Adelaide, Melbourne, Hobart and Sydney with a message that links the emotive impact of traffic delays with the stark reality of the impact of waiting for a life-changing medicine.

“We all get frustrated sitting in traffic, but for patients waiting to access a new medicine, delays can mean the difference between life and death,” Ms de Somer said.

“When you hear the worst possible news from a doctor that you or your loved one has a life-threatening condition, the last thing you expect to then hear is that there is a medicine that can treat this but it’s not yet available on the PBS and might not be in the time you have left.”

“Australians believe our health system is world class, but the reality is that when it comes to access the latest innovative medicines, we are a long way behind.”

Through the campaign, we are building a community of engaged and informed Australians who are passionate about the PBS and want to see change.

Since launching in late September, the campaign has reached more than 2 million people. The campaign will continue throughout 2024 with different phases of activity planned to build an engaged community.

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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