A list of technical terms used in this website and that you may come across when developing relationships between individuals, health consumer organisations and medicines companies.

Co-payment The co-payment is the amount you pay towards the cost of your medicine if it is listed on the PBS. Many PBS medicines cost a lot more than you actually pay as a co-payment. There are two different co-payments, one for concessional patients and one for other eligible patients.
Complementary medicines These are often called ‘traditional’ or ‘alternative’ medicines and include vitamin, mineral, herbal, aromatherapy and homoeopathic products.
Consumers Health Forum of Australia The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers with a network of members covering key conditions and issues across the health system. We advocate for a consumer-centred, high quality and affordable health system. Our diverse membership allows CHF to ensure that government and decision makers hear and understand the consumer voice. For more information visit the Consumers Health Forum section.
Governance The term governance refers to the way in which an organisation operates, is held to account and manages its relationships with stakeholders; comprising ethics, risk management, compliance and administration.
Health consumer organisations Health consumer organisations are not-for-profit organisations that represent the interests and views of consumers of health care. They range from small volunteer groups to large organisations and generally promote views that are independent of government, medicines companies and professional health service providers.
Key principles The key principles are high–level, broad values to guide the relationships between health consumer organisations and medicines companies: respect for independence, achieving and maintaining public trust, open communication, confidentiality and accountability.
Legislation Legislation is another term for law or a set of laws.
Medical devices Medical devices are products used on humans that generally have a physical or mechanical effect on the body or are used to measure or monitor functions of the body. They range from a bandage that you would put on a scratch to products such as pacemakers that are implanted in your body.
Medicine A medicine is a product or preparation used in the treatment, prevention or cure of a disease. This term is often interchangeable with pharmaceutical.
Medicines companies Medicines companies are businesses that make and sell medicines. Types of medicines companies include research-based pharmaceutical companies, generic pharmaceutical companies, consumer medicines companies, complementary medicines companies and medical device companies.
Medicines Australia Medicines Australia is the peak industry body representing Australian research-based pharmaceutical industry. Medicines Australia seeks to ensure that industry views contribute to national health policy and planning. For more information visit the Medicines Australia section.
Over the counter (OTC) medicines These are non-prescription medicines that do not require a health professional to gain access. OTC medicines can be sold in supermarkets, grocery stores, and health food stores as well as pharmacies. (See also Pharmacy only medicine and Self-medications.)
Patent A patent is a right that is granted for any device, substance, method or process that is new, inventive, and useful. It is enforceable by legislation and gives the owner exclusive commercial rights to the invention for the life of the patent. A standard Australian patent lasts for up to 20 years, but a pharmaceutical patent may last up to 25 years.
Pharmacist only medicine These are pharmacy only medicines stored behind the pharmacist’s counter. You can buy them only after talking to a pharmacist to make sure they are appropriate and safe for you.
Pharmacy only medicine These are non-prescription medicines available only in pharmacies. You do not have to seek advice from a pharmacist before buying them, but if you want advice you can ask for it. (See also OTC medicines.)
Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) The PBAC is an independent expert body appointed by the Australian Government. Its primary role is to recommend new medicines for listing on the PBS for reimbursement, taking into account the medical conditions for which the medicine was registered for use in Australia by the Therapeutic Goods Administration, and its clinical effectiveness, safety and cost-effectiveness (‘value for money’) compared with other treatments.
Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) is the Commonwealth Government’s system of subsidising access to approved medicines. The subsidisation of approved medicines through the PBS keeps medicines affordable for all Australians.
Prescription medicine You need a doctor’s prescription to buy prescription medicines from a pharmacist. Otherwise, only authorised health care professionals can supply them, such as in a hospital setting.
Regulation A regulation is an instrument of law made under the authority of an Act of Parliament. Regulations set out in more detail how legislation is intended to be interpreted and implemented. Generally, the term ‘regulation’ is used to describe the action or process of regulation, for example, controls, guidelines, instructions.
Relationships Relationships between health consumer organisations and medicines companies are developed to pursue areas of common interest jointly. The relationships may include, but is not limited to, funding, access to information, advice, sponsorship to attend conferences, education and training, access to meeting rooms, assistance with printing.
Research-based pharmaceutical companies Pharmaceutical companies that research, discover, develop, manufacture and market medicines. In most instances, these companies are members of Medicines Australia and therefore bound by its Code of Conduct.
Self-medications These are non-prescription medicines that do not require a health professional to gain access. They can be sold in supermarkets, grocery stores, and health food stores as well as pharmacies. (See also OTC medicines.)
Therapeutic good A therapeutic good is a medicine or other product that is used in the prevention, diagnosis, cure or alleviation of a disease or ailment. (See also Medicine.)
Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) The TGA is Australia’s regulatory authority for therapeutic goods. It is responsible for the assessment and monitoring of therapeutic goods that are available in Australia. A medicines must be registered with the TGA before it is available for sale in Australia.