Medicines industry continues to protect Australians from medicine shortages

ACCC extends approval for ongoing collaboration 

30 September 2021: Following 18 months of working closely to protect Australian patients against medicine shortages, the Australian medicine industry has been given the green light by the competition regulator to continue its successful collaboration.

Peak industry bodies, Medicines Australia (MA) and the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) have been granted a further conditional interim authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to continue to work together, with the Government, to secure the supply of essential medicines during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The MA-GBMA Working Group, established early last year, allows their respective member companies to coordinate with the Government so that potential or emerging medicine shortages are quickly and effectively identified and managed.

Today’s decision comes after nearly two extraordinary years where Australian medicine researchers and the local and global biopharmaceutical sector have worked tirelessly to research, develop, manufacture, and deliver safe and effective COVID-19 vaccines and treatments.

Elizabeth de Somer, CEO of Medicines Australia, said that against this backdrop, the Australian medicine industry has worked around the clock to ensure Australian patients could continue to access their medicines.

“The highly skilled, talented people, who work for the industry, have worked tirelessly so we can protect ourselves against this virus and still receive other critical medicines, but we are not out of the woods yet,” she said.

“As the spread of the Delta variant continues to put pressure on our healthcare system, it is critical that we work together to secure the supply of vital prescription medicines, including those needed for patients in ICU,” she said.

Marnie Peterson, CEO of GBMA, said the risk of medicines shortages is one of the most important challenges facing both the Government and the healthcare industry during this global health and economic crisis.

“At the forefront of all of our collective decision-making, is the safety and protection of all Australians,” she said. “It is on their behalf, that we collaborate closely with all governments to develop policies and implement protocols to secure supply and manage medicine demand by community pharmacies, prescribers and hospitals.”

The ACCC conditional interim authorisation for Medicines Australia and GBMA will continue until the ACCC makes its final determination (currently scheduled for February 2022), or the ACCC decides to revoke the interim authorisation. Medicines Australia has requested that the ACCC grant it authorisation for a period of 12 months in its final determination. The ACCC order and update can be found here.


For media enquiries and interview opportunities, please contact:

Medicines Australia: Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 /

GBMA: Jannette Cotterell – 0419 204 059 /