Implementation of PBS reforms key focus of Pre-Budget submission

3o January 2024: Medicines Australia is calling on the Government to plan for the implementation of reforms from the current Health Technology Assessment Review in the 2024 Budget and to provide disaggregate PBS spending in the budget papers.

“Our ask of Treasury this year is very clear – commit to funding the reforms that will come out of the HTA Review to give Australians faster access to new medicines and improve transparency of PBS spending by providing disaggregate data in budget papers,” Medicines Australia CEO Liz de Somer said.

Medicines Australia supports the Government’s call for bold PBS reform to deliver equitable and timely access for all Australians to new medicines and vaccines, while encouraging the global industry to bring the latest and best medicines to Australia to address unmet patient need.  

Medicines Australia and its members have developed a three-year implementation Roadmap for HTA Reform, which outlines the steps needed to achieve reforms consistent with those proposed through the review.

“Our Roadmap offers a realistic timeframe to achieve meaningful change for patients as early as year 1, while the reforms that will require investment by Government can be rolled out in years 2 and 3,” Ms de Somer said.

“This aligns with Government’s promise of bold reform and offers pathways to enable Australians to access innovative medicines within 60 days of TGA registration.” 

The innovative medicines industry has partnered with governments over decades to ensure the continued listing of new medicines.

Industry has delivered billions in budget savings through successive Strategic agreements that are embedded in the system. The savings agreed to include: 2010 ($1.9 billion), 2015 ($6.5 billion), 2017 ($1.8 billion) and 2022 $1.9 billion). These savings were agreed in return for policy initiatives including the current HTA Review.

“PBS expenditure has grown by $3 billion over 10 years in nominal terms and has shrunk as a proportion of healthcare expenditure from 20% to 17%. Investing in the PBS reduces costs in other areas of the health system and contributes to economic productivity,” Ms de Somer said.

“After 30 years without a comprehensive review, it is time for fundamental reform of the PBS so it delivers the world’s best health, social and economic outcomes for all Australians.”