Faster patient access to new medicines must be a priority for next Government

10 April 2022: With the Federal Election campaign now formally underway, Medicines Australia is reminding the major parties of the priorities for the next Government to improve health care for all Australians.

Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said that the Australian experience throughout the COVID-19 pandemic has stressed the importance of fast access to new medicines, vaccines, and treatments to protect and improve public health.

“The next Government must invest strongly in the PBS, to access the science, research, and innovation that will ensure the health system is equipped to meet future demand and combat new health crises and pandemics,” Ms de Somer said.

“There is bipartisan support for the Government’s Strategic Agreement with Medicines Australia, the independent Health Technology Assessment (HTA) review, and the ongoing review of the National Medicines Policy (NMP).

“The work has begun. Both sides of politics are committed to much needed reforms to benefit patients and the health system. The next Government must deliver on the vision.

“Medicines save lives and improve quality of life.

“Innovative planning and significant investment in new medicines access must be among the first commitments of the new Government elected in May,” Ms de Somer said.

Medicines Australia calls on the next Government to guarantee Australia’s health system to deliver faster access to medicines, vaccines, and treatments now and into the future by :

  • Guaranteed investment in medicines as a pillar of the Australian health system;
  • A collaborative approach to the ongoing review of the National Medicines Policy (the first review in more than 20 years), with greater consultation with stakeholders, especially patient groups;
  • Prioritising the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review to enable one of the biggest health reforms in Australia for more than 30 years;
  • Reducing Australia’s discount rate for medicines from 5 per cent to 1.5 per cent, as recommended in countries such as Canada and England; and
  • Ensuring that the views and experiences of patients and patient organisations are an integral part of Government decision-making on new medicines.

More information on the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) review is available here.

More information on the discount rate for medicines is available here.


For further information or media interviews, please contact:
Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 /
John Flannery – 0419 494 761 /