Government urged to move quickly on PC report

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers has urged the Government to implement the recommendations of the Productivity Commission’s new Annual Review of Regulatory Burdens on Business.

The review, released today, recommends a number of important measures which would significantly improve access to innovative new medicines for Australian patients.

Notably, the review recommends: The Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee should be allowed, when requested by applicants, to conduct its assessment of a medicine for PBS listing in parallel with the TGA’s assessment of the application to register the medicine.

“This one measure could reduce by a full year the time taken to list a new medicine on the PBS,” Mr Chalmers said.

Other key Productivity Commission recommendations include:

  • Increasing the cost threshold at which PBS listings require Cabinet approval
  • Reducing the time and cost of TGA approval processes
  • Introducing a harmonised national system for approving multi-centre clinical trials, to be implemented by the end of 2009.

Mr Chalmers said the Productivity Commission’s recommendations, if adopted, would mean that Australian patients would enjoy much faster access to important therapies.

“I call on the Government to implement these recommendations from the Productivity Commission as soon as possible,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Procedural rigour in the evaluation of medicines is important and must be maintained.

In this context, initiatives that bring innovative, safe and effective new medicines onto the PBS more quickly are great news for patients.”

Medicines Australia has been working closely with the Government to find ways of improving access to innovative new medicines for Australian patients.

Mr Chalmers acknowledged the importance of the Productivity Commission report, which made a raft of recommendations to reduce the burden of government regulation on business.

“I commend the Productivity Commission on a thorough and very constructive report,”

Mr Chalmers said. “I also look forward to a quick and positive response from the Government.”


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Jamie Nicholson
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