Budget: Life sciences industry calls for better funding for medicine and technology regulator

31 January 2023: The life sciences, health and medicine sectors have come together to call for improved funding of the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) after the agency flagged increases in costs this year due to unexpected issues such as the regulation of cannabis and nicotine vaping products.

CEO of Medicines Australia, Elizabeth de Somer, said the Federal Budget is an opportunity to demonstrate the value the TGA contributes to the health of every Australian.

“The TGA plays a critical role in making sure the health products we use are safe, effective and high quality,” Ms de Somer said.

“Cost recovery (fee for service funding) is not unusual between Government and industries, and the health and medicines industry accepts the requirement to pay for TGA services. However, what is unusual is that 93% of the TGA’s revenue is collected through fees and charges and only 7% of public funding is available for almost a third of the TGA’s functions.

“The small percentage of public funding does not give the TGA enough resources to provide public health functions into the long term or be able to properly support unexpected health emergencies.

“A recent report[1] to Government recommended the TGA’s current cost recovery model be updated to create a more sustainable, modern approach that is in line with international practice and the evolving health and technology world.

“The TGA is well-respected globally for its role in delivering high quality regulation on lifesaving and life changing medical and health products.

“Government should also recognise the critical public health functions provided by the TGA by properly funding important public health measures rather than redirecting industry fees to cross-subsidise these activities.

“Establishing a public funding mechanism will enable the TGA to guarantee timely public health services for the Australian community and the ability to respond to emerging health crises into the future,” she said.

Medicines Australia, along with AusBiotech, Medical Technology Association of Australia, BioMelbourne Network, ANDHealth, Life Sciences Queensland and Life Sciences WA, has co-signed the Federal Budget submission letter.

>> Read the Budget submission letter


For further information or media interviews, please contact:
Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 / chrystianna.moran@medicinesaustralia.com.au

[1] Recommendation 14, The New Frontier – Delivering better health for all Australians, November 2021