Long-term outlook and predictability key to successful medicines policy, conference told

A predictable regulatory and reimbursement environment, and a long-term policy outlook are essential if patients are to continue to have access to new medicines, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw told a key policy conference in Canberra today.

Speaking at the Third Joint Medicines Policy Conference, jointly staged by Medicines Australia and the Department of Health and Ageing, Dr Shaw said policymakers needed to consider the impact policy signals would have on manufacturers.

“When a company is investing an average of 15 years and $1.5 billion to develop a medicine, predictability about how regulators, payers and government are going to treat that medicine is important,” Dr Shaw said.

“The medicines industry has one of the longest lead times for bringing new products from research to market of any high-tech manufacturing industry.

“It takes longer to bring a new product to market for medicines than it does for cars, consumer electronics, medical devices, and semi-conductors.

“That is one of the reasons why the Federal Cabinet’s decision to defer the listing of new medicines earlier this year caused such a stir for the industry, leaving aside the avalanche of criticism from the rest of the community.

“Ensuring that medicines policy is designed with one eye on the impact on the industry is key to future developments in medicine.

“In this time of budget stringency, economic volatility, growing consumer demands and changing priorities, having a long-term view about how industry can be supported and incorporated into a medicines policy is critical.”


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