HTA Reform gets underway – Terms of Reference released today
22 March 2023: Medicines Australia acknowledges the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review Terms of Reference – released today – and will continue to advocate for bold policy reform to speed up access to innovative medicines.
CEO of Medicines Australia – and newly appointed HTA Review Reference Committee member – Elizabeth de Somer said that the release of the Terms of Reference kickstarts the HTA Review process which must deliver equitable, timely, safe and affordable access to innovative medicines for all Australians.
“The Australian medicines access system has not seen this type of review in 30 years and rapid advances in health, medicine, and technology, require reform so Australians don’t miss out,” Ms de Somer said.
“The HTA Review is an opportunity to improve our health and medicine system, so it is fit-for-purpose and realises the Government’s National Medicines Policy vision of providing the world’s best healthcare for all Australians.
“Reforms must remove the barriers in current policies, methods and decision-making systems that are stopping patients from having rapid access to innovative medicines, vaccines and treatments,” she said.
Medicines Australia welcomes changes to the Terms of Reference that strengthen the focus on patients and notes the specific mention of additional groups of Australians who experience access equity issues, such as First Nations people.
“After advocacy from Medicines Australia, there is now a stronger focus on having ‘earliest possible access’ to medicines, as well as a ‘person-centred approach’,” Ms de Somer said.
“The Terms of Reference are broad enough to consider system-level policy reforms and will allow all stakeholders to put their issues on the table.
“But this is just the beginning. Health reform like the HTA Review must make lasting, impactful change.
“Moving forward, the HTA Review must be transparent and create appropriate space and time to listen to the views, experiences, and challenges of all stakeholders.
“The House of Representatives Health Committee’s inquiry and the New Frontier report shows there is a groundswell of support for bold reform and everyone involved in that inquiry should have the opportunity to put forward their ideas.
“The Government, medicines industry, patients and health experts must work together that ensure all Australians have better access to innovative medicines,” she said.
Medicines Australia looks forward to the prompt public release of the HTA Review workplan and any discussion papers prepared by the HTA Expert to provide greater understanding for stakeholders and how everyone can engage.
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