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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

National Medicines Policy review on the move again

Health Industry Hub | August 1, 2022 |
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Pharma News: Australia’s National Medicines Policy (NMP) was launched 22 years ago. Since that time, Australia has seen significant changes in the healthcare ecosystem.

In his address at the Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) Annual Conference on 29 July, Mark Butler, MP Minister for Health and Aged Care, updated pharmacists on the National Medicines Policy (NMP) Review.

He said “I know your deep interest in the review of the National Medicines Policy. I’ve known Michael Kidd [Deputy Chief Medical Officer and NMP Review Committee Chair] for a very long time. I worked closely with him in in blood borne viruses and STIs, and a range of other areas when I was a health minister more than a decade ago. He’s a terrific fellow. I’m really pleased to announce that I’ve asked him to restart the review of the NMP.”

In March 2022, the former government heeded the calls from key stakeholders by extending the finalisation of the National Medicines Policy Review until after the Federal election to allow additional consultation with key stakeholders.

Many stakeholders including the Australian Medical Association (AMA), Medicines Australia and Patient Voice Initiative called for an extension on the National Medicines Policy Review once the draft consultation document was released earlier this year.

Jessica Bean, President of Patient Voice Initiative (PVI) told Health Industry Hub at the time “We acknowledge the process might take longer and be harder, but Australians, especially patients, are depending on us to get this right. When we finish, we should have a policy that better serves the people who depend on it to access the evolution of medicine now and into the future so we can feel proud of our National Medicines Policy again.”

Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, commented “Reforming and modernising the NMP, to keep pace with rapidly evolving scientific and medical advances, is too important to be rushed. It is central to the health of the nation – now and into the future.”

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