Australians deserve fast access to the latest medicines, vaccines and treatments

28 January 2022: Medicines Australia recommends the Australian Government delivers a plan to shorten the time that patients wait for access to the latest innovative medicines, vaccines and treatments. 

In its 2022-23 Pre-Budget Submission, Medicines Australia has asked for firm investment in healthcare and a commitment to improve our health system for all Australians. 

“Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 crisis is going to rely on having a healthy population. We want Australians to live long, healthy lives and that can only be achieved through a reliable investment in healthcare and faster access to the latest innovative and breakthrough medicines,” said Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer. 

As shown during the COVID-19 pandemic, slow access to the latest innovative medicines, vaccines and treatments profoundly impacts the economy and people’s health.  

“Never have we seen medical research move forward at such speed,” said Ms de Somer. “The COVID-19 vaccines, and now COVID-19 treatments, are just the tip of the iceberg. Scientists and medical researchers are producing amazing advances in treatments for other serious diseases, and Australians deserve access to these therapies without delay.” 

Australia’s healthcare system is strong, yet, when it comes to access to new medicines, Australians wait significantly longer than other similar countries. On average, over 60 per cent of medicines become available to patients within 6 months, compared to Australia’s 22 per cent. In its Pre-Budget Submission, Medicines Australia asks the Government to target a position in the top 5 of similar OECD countries for speed of access by 2027. Currently, Australia sits in the top 20.   

“The biopharmaceutical industry has shown what can be achieved when we collaborate with Government and other stakeholders to support good health for Australians,” said Ms de Somer. 

Medicines Australia also recommended in its Pre-Budget submission that the Government meet commitments and timeframes set out in the Strategic Agreement to deliver measurable improvements for patients that appropriately value the impact of new therapies. 


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