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News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Peak body calls for researchers and consumers as partners in new National Medicines Policy

Health Industry Hub | October 13, 2021 |
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Pharma News: Research Australia welcomes the National Medicines Policy (NMP) Review but notes that “it is also well overdue”.

The peak research body’s submission to the Review has made the case for researchers to be formally recognised as partners in the Policy alongside government, industry, healthcare providers and consumers.

“Researchers have an important role to play in supporting the objectives of
the Policy… and in evaluating innovative programs delivered under the
NMP, including in terms of effectiveness, cost, implementation outcomes and program sustainability.”

There is a need for the revised NMP to focus on consumer centricity and engagement to be strengthened. According to the submission “what is currently missing is a consumer centric focus on the use of medicines data. Data on medicines use can be better utilised to make the NMP more consumer centric. We also need to leverage other data (MBS, hospital, health insurance) to better understand medicines use in a more consumer centric way. A consumer centric approach will allow us to better understand equity of access, variations in use, preferences across all types of medicines prescription and non-prescription, subsidised versus non-subsidised and conventional versus complementary and alternative.”

The submission also noted that while there has been some research undertaken in Australia and internationally into how consumers make decisions about medicines, more research is needed to understand how to support better decision making by consumers about the medicines they use and how they use them, particularly within disadvantaged and minority groups.

The peak body recommends that the NMP is reviewed more regularly in the future to ensure it remains current and relevant.


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