ACCC helps to protect Australians against medicine shortages caused by COVID-19

10 December 2021: Medicine shortages from the COVID-19 pandemic will continue to be actively managed by Medicines Australia and the Generic Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) thanks to an authorisation confirmed by the ACCC. 

The authorisation extension will allow the Federal Government to work with Medicines Australia and the GBMA to continue to implement a coordinated strategy in relation to the supply of essential medicines and related devices in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Elizabeth de Somer, CEO of Medicines Australia, said that the emergence of the Omicron variant demonstrates that disruption and shortage issues are far from over. 

“All Australian businesses have felt the pressure on their supply chains, including challenges with freight delays. As the COVID-19 pandemic continues it remains critical that we can continue to work together for Australian patients to have access to the medicines they need.” 

“This ACCC authorisation allows us to continue to manage and minimise risks that could disrupt medicine supply to hospitals and patients,” said Ms de Somer. 

Marnie Peterson, CEO of the GBMA, added that the ACCC authorisation will help deliver uninterrupted and timely access to the medicines Australians need. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has thrown disruption into everyone’s lives,” Ms Peterson said. “Behind the scenes, the Australian medicines industry has been working hard to protect Australians against global medicine supply chain shocks.”  

Medicines Australia and the GBMA both recently put into place respective Strategic Agreements with the Australian Government that will focus on timely access to innovative medicines, treatments and vaccines, and further strengthen protection for patients from medicine shortages.  

Medicines Australia and the GBMA thank the ACCC for their consideration and final authorisation. The authorisation has been granted for a period of 12 months, expiring on 30 September 2022. 


Media enquiries: 

Medicines Australia: Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 / 

GBMA: Jannette Cotterell – 0419 204 059 / 

About Medicines Australia 

Medicines Australia leads the research-based medicines industry of Australia. Its members discover, develop and manufacture prescription pharmaceutical products, biotherapeutic products and vaccines that bring health, social and economic benefits to Australia. its members invest in Australian medical research and take local discoveries and developments to the world. 

About the GBMA 

The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) is the peak representative body of generic and biosimilar medicine suppliers in Australia. 

Its members ensure that all Australians are offered high quality generic and biosimilar medicines, whilst providing affordable community health outcomes that benefit all Australians. 

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