Medicines Australia welcomes medicines shortages initiative

An online information portal for healthcare professionals and the community which tracks and reports on medicine shortages in Australia was launched yesterday by the Assistant Minister for Health, Fiona Nash.

Medicines Australia welcomed the Medicines Shortages Information Initiative, which promotes an environment that supports ongoing exchange of information between industry and regulators.

“Medicines Australia is pleased to have partnered with the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and the Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) to develop an innovative and collaborative approach to what will be a very useful resource for healthcare professionals and the community,” Medicines Australia Chief Executive, Dr Brendan Shaw said.

“We know there are multiple factors that can contribute to unanticipated shortages in medicines supply, including things like manufacturing problems, logistical failures, unexpected or unpredictable outbreaks of disease with fluctuating local demand, or end user stockpiling practices.

“This information initiative will provide the tools needed to communicate effectively to the regulator and companies ahead of time, reducing the possibility of patients not being able to access their prescribed medicine due to a supply shortage, and minimising the impact on patients.

“The development of a public website means healthcare professionals can stay up-to-date with the latest information and patients will have more consistent access to information about their medicines.”

The TGA has been working closely with industry, including Medicines Australia and the GMiA, since November 2013 to develop the Medicines Shortages Information Initiative.

“I am very pleased that through collaboration we have produced an informative protocol and website that will assist in the communication and management of shortages between Australian sponsors and the TGA,” Dr Shaw said.

“Industry welcomes the approach taken in Australia of voluntary participation supported by the consistent, risk based communication process defined in the protocol.

“We look forward to working collaboratively again with TGA in the future, to develop further innovative initiatives that support Australian patients and the healthcare community.”

The new website on medicine shortages can be found at:


Contact Person:

Alexia Vlahos
Phone: (02) 6122 8503