MAP offers new online pathway for accessing cancer treatments
24 February 2022: Medicines Australia and Rare Cancers Australia yesterday provided pharmaceutical industry stakeholders a preview of a new Medicines Access Portal (MAP), an exciting initiative to better link clinicians and their cancer patients to special oncology access treatment programs.
The MAP website – initially only available for cancer treatments – is a single, secure online portal for pharmaceutical companies to inform Australian medical practitioners of the existence of special access programs available to patients.
The MAP is currently going through its final beta testing phase and will be officially launched in April 2022.
Rare Cancers Australia’s CEO, Richard Vines, said that listing these treatment programs in one, central portal will speed up patients accessing life extending or lifesaving medicine.
“Compassionate access or special access programs are often a last hope for cancer patients. Up until now, clinicians and patients have had to rely on general knowledge and word-of-mouth to find these programs which means the patient risks missing out. The MAP is a simple solution to connect clinicians to pharmaceutical companies who offer these types of special access programs,” he said.
Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said today’s ‘soft launch’ was designed to allow pharmaceutical companies time to put in place the programs and systems needed to allow a seamless experience for clinicians.
“The idea was originally brought to us by Professor John Zalcberg, a well-respected oncologist, who wanted to create a simple solution that would allow clinicians to easily find information about access programs and whilst still meeting pharmaceutical companies’ legal obligations.
“The MAP is a secure, single portal that will provide fast, equitable access to information for clinicians across the country.”
Pharmaceutical companies will register to be part of MAP and load details of their access programs onto the website. These are generally medicines that have been registered or prior to the medicine being listed on the PBS, so are not available to patients through normal pathways.
Clinicians who hold an AHPRA number will also securely register on the site and be able to search for information on existing access programs, including by cancer type, treatment type, company, product, and access pathway.
In accordance with the Therapeutic Goods Act, the public and patients will not be able to directly access any information relating to any of the access programs or medicines listed on the website.
“Australia’s cancer patients will benefit significantly from the MAP website. Cancer specialists – especially those in regional areas – will have easier and faster access to information about medicines and treatments will offer more options for the care of their patients,” Ms de Somer said.
“Medicines Australia and Rare Cancers Australia are proud to be involved in bringing this exciting patient care initiative to reality. We are grateful to all stakeholders – especially to Professor John Zalcberg – for his hard work and dedication to create MAP to help cancer patients,” she said.
MAP is a joint initiative between Medicines Australia and Rare Cancers Australia and has been developed in collaboration with the Medical Oncology Group of Australia (MOGA), the Haematology Society of Australia and New Zealand (HSANZ), the TGA, PBAC, industry representatives and clinicians.
For further information or media interviews, please contact:
Medicines Australia: Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Rare Cancers Australia: Casey Virgin – email@example.com