register

News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

The revolving door: Ex-TGA boss’ board position questioned

Health Industry Hub | February 16, 2024 |

Pharma News: Former head of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), Professor John Skerritt, took a position on the Board of Medicines Australia, marking his journey to the pharmaceutical industry eight months after leaving his regulatory post.

This move has ignited concerns at Senate Estimates about the ‘revolving door’ where regulatory officials seamlessly transition into roles within the industries they once oversaw.

“Given 1 in 4 former ministers go on to take roles with special interest groups after leaving politics, it is safe to say there is a well-established revolving door between government and lobbying roles,” noted Transparency International Australia in its position paper.

Queensland’s Senator Malcolm Roberts, expressed his apprehension at Estimates, stating “As head of the TGA, Professor Skerritt introduced mRNA into Australia, creating a whole new industry that he’s now working in. Does this sound like an appropriate arrangement to you? It sounds like a massive conflict of interest to me.”

Blair Comley, Secretary of the Department of Health and Aged Care, acknowledged the existing rules for former public servants but emphasised their limitations.

“There are rules in terms of former public servants and what they can do, but those rules are largely limited to lobbying activities related to their previous departments. There’s not a broader prohibition in their activity related areas to they’ve worked with the public service,” he said.

Senator Roberts probed further, stating “So, he’s joined the most powerful lobby group for the pharmaceutical sector that he was previously regulating.”

In response to concerns about potential conflicts of interest, Mr Comley highlighted “As long as he’s not undertaking lobbying activity in a 12-month period. Also, his obligations in relation to confidentiality of any information gained while in the public service continue to apply.”

Professor Anthony Lawler, Deputy Secretary of the Health Products Regulation Group, Department of Health, reassured the senators about the DoH’s interactions with the industry peak body.

“Our interactions with Medicines Australia is predominantly through our well-publicised stakeholder engagement processes. We don’t interact directly with the board. We don’t receive lobbying approaches from board members or organisations, and we haven’t received any lobbying approaches from Professor Skerritt,” he clarified.

However, Senator Roberts remained sceptical, stating, “It certainly doesn’t look good,” referring to Professor Skerritt’s position on the Medicines Australia Board.

The senator also raised questions about Liz de Somer, CEO of Medicines Australia, who has been appointed as a member of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review panel.

“Are we paying the pharmaceutical industry to promote pharmaceutical industry agendas to our approval process?” Senator Roberts queried.

Mr Comley responded, “Where we are undertaking reviews of policy matters that affect a range of stakeholders, it’s not uncommon for those stakeholders to be part of that review process. Most of those reviews are never the final decision-maker. They make an input to government decision-making, informed by their experience on the ground.”

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.

The exclusive leadership and influencer podcasts and vodcasts add huge value to our breaking news coverage. The content on Health Industry Hub is copyright protected and should only be accessed under individual user licenses. Please click here to subscribe and visit T&Cs here.


News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Government commissions review as 70% of private hospitals face financial crisis

Government commissions review as 70% of private hospitals face financial crisis

Health Industry Hub | June 14, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: Despite playing a crucial role in providing acute care and surgical services, a staggering 70% of […]

More


News & Trends - Pharmaceuticals

Pharmacy Guild echoes ACCC red flags over Chemist Warehouse-Sigma deal

Pharmacy Guild echoes ACCC red flags over Chemist Warehouse-Sigma deal

Health Industry Hub | June 14, 2024 |

Pharma News: The Pharmacy Guild of Australia has echoed the significant concerns of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) […]

More


News & Trends - MedTech & Diagnostics

Competition watchdog raises concerns over cancer care provider's expansion plans

Competition watchdog raises concerns over cancer care provider’s expansion plans

Health Industry Hub | June 14, 2024 |

MedTech & Diagnostics News: A leading provider of cancer care services in Australia, faces scrutiny from the Australian Competition and […]

More


News & Trends - Biotechnology

Aussie biotech secures first local CAR T patent

Aussie biotech secures first local CAR T patent

Health Industry Hub | June 13, 2024 |

Biotech News: A Melbourne-based biotechnology company which specialises in developing immune cell therapies for cancer treatment, has been granted its […]

More


This content is copyright protected. Please subscribe to gain access.