National Medicines Policy draft strides ahead but still room for improvement
26 September 2022: Stakeholders have until tomorrow night to submit their feedback on the refreshed National Medicines Policy that will impact all Australians.
The National Medicines Policy (NMP) Review started in August 2021 but was paused until after the Federal Election to allow stakeholders more time to provide feedback.
CEO of Medicines Australia, Elizabeth de Somer, said the new draft of the NMP – which was released under the new Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler MP – is an improvement from the original draft.
“The latest draft of the National Medicines Policy is strides ahead of the previous version and shows the Committee and Minister have heard the concerns of key stakeholders including the medicines industry, health experts and patients,” she said.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has shown the importance of listening to the voices of health experts and patients, and it is encouraging to see the latest draft of the NMP has shown consideration for these voices and experiences.
“It is pleasing to see the latest draft of the NMP incorporates key recommendations that will create a more robust, equitable and future-focused NMP that will benefit all Australians.
“All Australians should have timely access to innovative, high-quality medicines and the revised NMP aims to deliver positive ways to eliminate health inequities that are experienced by priority groups, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.
“The NMP must remain future-fit and set us up for the innovative medicines and treatments that are just on the horizon. The NMP has not been reviewed in over 20 years and Australians cannot afford to let such an important policy languish on shelves for that long again.
“The final NMP must include stronger governance and evaluation frameworks – such as including a public annual report to assess effectiveness and a commitment to review the NMP every five years.
“Rightly so, the NMP recognises the importance of investing in medicine and the wide-reaching benefits this has for the individual patient, their family, community, economy and society as a whole,” Ms de Somer said.
The revised draft of the NMP is available on the Department of Health website and submissions are open until 27 September 2022.
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