Medicines Australia welcomes Government response to New Frontier report

Medicines Australia welcomes the Government’s response to the New Frontier report, and its acceptance of nearly all 31 recommendations, which stand to improve patient access to new medicines.

The report is the outcome of a 15-month Parliamentary inquiry into the process for bringing new medicines to Australian patients commenced in 2020 by the Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport, Chaired by former MP Trent Zimmerman and co-Chaired by Dr Mike Freelander MP. The inquiry received over 200 submissions and held more than 50 public hearings.

“Medicines Australia thanks the Government for its commitment to 26 of the 31 recommendations in the New Frontier report,” Medicines Australia CEO Liz de Somer said.

“It is clear that much relies on the HTA review and the crucial need for bold reform, with many references to the review throughout the Government’s response.”

“It is encouraging to see the Government’s continuing commitment to improving timely access to new and emerging medicines and health technologies for Australian patients, including those with rare diseases, and to improving meaningful patient engagement. These are consistent themes across submissions for the HTA review and priorities for Medicines Australia.”

“We are also pleased to note the Government’s commitment to the Strategic Agreement with Medicines Australia. Several of the recommendations are in progress through our agreement, such as the need for clear and measurable benchmarks to track the implementation of the recommendations, which will be refined in the coming months in consultation with industry and stakeholders.”

“It is our view that the current process improvement metrics do not provide adequate transparency around time to access, and this will be an important step in achieving a world class system.”

“We particularly welcome the Government’s commitment to Recommendation 30, which aligns with the industry’s objectives of the HTA review. Additionally, a labour market and skills strategy to boost capability and capacity by expanding the number of health economists within Australia aligns with Medicines Australia’s calls to strengthen the skills and capacity in the Department’s Office of HTA.”

“The HTA review is a once-in-a-generation opportunity to improve the system and ensure it can meet the needs of Australians into the future. This will require collaboration, legislative change and flexibility to accommodate new and disruptive technologies.”

“Medicines Australia and its members look forward to continuing to work with the Government, the Department and all stakeholders on these critical matters.”



Media enquiries to Kate McKeown, Senior Manager Communications and Media – or 0408 775 288.