Big jump in quality and length of life for Australians

A report released today has provided valuable insight into longevity in Australia, with years added to life expectancy for females and males living down-under.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) report, Healthy life expectancy in Australia: patterns and trends 1998 to 2012, shows life expectancy for males has increased by 4 years and 2.8 years for women.

Medicines Australia CEO, Tim James, has welcomed the report’s findings.

“The AIHW report captures how much our length and quality of life has improved over the past 15 years,” Mr James said.

“This report shows that from 1998 to 2012, life expectancy at birth has increased from 75.9 years to 79.9 years for males (an extra 4.0 years) and from 81.5 years to 84.3 years for females (an extra 2.8 years).

“Ground-breaking developments in medicines, vaccines, and innovative new therapies to treat disease have made an essential contribution to this achievement.

“Innovation is the fundamental driver of human development.  Medicines, vaccines and therapies are at the forefront of innovative, scientific development and, in turn, human development.

“Today there is a wider range of accessible treatment options for patients to treat cancer, cardiovascular disease, HIV, multiple sclerosis, diabetes and other diseases, than there was even a few years ago.

“Thanks to the Australian health system and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, Australian patients are able to access the latest medicines and vaccines so that we are not only living longer, but also enjoying a better quality of life.

“The medicines industry will continue to research and develop innovative solutions and contribute to the health and economic wealth of Australia.

“We will continue to work together with government to ensure that innovation and investment will continue to provide high quality, safe, and effective treatments for all Australians, now and into the future.”


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Alexia Vlahos
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