Medicines Australia puts spotlight on reform priority for the next Government
20 May 2022: Medicines Australia has set the scene for major health reform by the next Government by alerting hundreds of key stakeholders to get ready to engage in the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review, which is due to start in July.
Ahead of Saturday’s election, Medicines Australia this week sent out more than 300 letters to stakeholders explaining the importance of the upcoming HTA Review to them and inviting them to get involved in consultation with the Government, the bureaucracy, and the sector.
Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said that this is the first step in ensuring the Review includes representation from across the Australian community and that all stakeholders – including patients and patient groups – have enough lead time to understand and participate in the process.
“The HTA Review must be a priority for the next Government and the major parties have committed to its implementation,” Ms de Somer said.
“We must reform Australia’s HTA systems and processes, so Australians have faster access to innovative medicines and health improvements.
“This reform is the first of its kind in 30 years and the many different experiences and needs across the Australian landscape must be considered.
“These letters are the first step to ensure there is diversity and representation from all stakeholders and to ensure small organisations – such as some patient groups who have limited resources – have enough time to form their own opinions and engage with this process.
“The HTA Review will be independently chaired and driven by a Reference Committee of representatives from industry, Government, and patient groups.
“We will be engaging with the new Health Minister early next week about key health priorities for the next Government which need urgent attention, including the HTA Review and the National Medicines Policy.
“We will be seeking agreement on finalising the HTA Review Reference Committee, including the independent Chair, and setting the Terms of Reference for the Review.
“Medicines Australia is committed to working collaboratively to strengthen Australia’s health system and make it better for all.”
Responses from the Liberal and Labor party to Medicines Australia’s key election asks (including the implementation of the HTA Review) can be found here.
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ABOUT MEDICINES AUSTRALIA
Medicines Australia leads the research-based medicines industry of Australia. Our members discover, develop and manufacture prescription pharmaceutical products, biotherapeutic products and vaccines that bring health, social and economic benefits to Australia. Our members invest in Australian medical research and take local discoveries and developments to the world.
Our mission is to drive policy outcomes in partnership with government, health sector organisations and the community which will ensure Australians have universal, affordable, and fast access to treatments that keep pace with advancements in medicine.
ABOUT THE HTA REVIEW
As part of Medicine Australia’s five-year Strategic Agreement with the Federal Government there will be an independent review of Australia’s HTA system – the first of its kind in nearly 30 years.
The Review will ensure Australia’s HTA system evolves to keep pace with advancements in medical technologies and delivers faster access to new medicines for patients.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL MEDICINES POLICY REVIEW
Published in 2000, Australia’s National Medicines Policy (NMP) is a framework that aims to deliver positive health outcomes for all Australians through their access to, and appropriate use of, medicines. The NMP guides the range of activities encompassing medication management, access, and affordability of medicines in Australia through a partnership approach between all sectors.
The Review of the NMP (the Review) was commissioned by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP, in recognition of the substantial changes to the health landscape since the policy was implemented.
The Review was paused in March 2022, after a call from Medicines Australia, patient groups, health bodies, and industry who asked for the finalisation of the National Medicines Policy (NMP) Review to happen after the Federal election to allow further and more detailed consultation with stakeholders.
Further information about the consultation, including the NMP Discussion Paper, can be found here: https://consultations.health.gov.au/technology-assessment-access-division/national-medicines-policy-review/.