National Medicines Policy Review will be significant for all Australians

30 July 2021: Medicines Australia is eager to be part of a significant moment in history for Australian health care. August 2021 will mark the start of the National Medicines Policy (NMP) review, as announced by the Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, at Medicines Australia’s event in Parliament House ‘Room for the Patient View’.

Announced this morning, the Review will be completed in six months and is timely to make sure our health care system is fit-for-purpose and pandemic proof. The Review’s Expert Advisory Committee is made up of a good representation of experts that have experience and expertise across the health system including medicines policy, clinical practice, consumer engagement and the pharmaceutical industry.

The Committee will be chaired by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd AM. Its members include Professor Lloyd Sansom AO; Mrs Janette Donovan; Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin and Mr David Herd.

The NMP was first introduced in 1999 and this year will be the first time it has been reviewed since its implementation. Over the past two decades, medicines have changed and so have patient and consumer expectations.

The overall goal of the NMP is to optimise health outcomes for all Australians but to do that, there needs to be a greater focus on medicines governance – and this is what the NMP should do. A key part of the Review will focus on implementing metrics and measuring outcomes.

As announced this morning, the NMP Review Terms of Reference reveal a broad scope that will look at the definitions of medicines, the governance structure, implementation, and evaluation. Most importantly, the Review will put the patient at the centre of policy thinking.

One of the key considerations in transforming the NMP will be consumer expectations and having a stronger patient focus.

Two of the pillars of the NMP are that all Australians should have timely and affordable access to essential medicines, and that medicines should be prescribed and used appropriately.

Yet the reality is that these goals are not being met for all Australians – such as those in remote and regional communities, or Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

A key part of Medicines Australia’s recommendations will continue to be ensuring that the central role of consumers and patients is appropriately reflected in a refreshed NMP that is fit-for-purpose.

-ENDS-

For further information or media interviews, please contact:
Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 / chrystianna.moran@medicinesaustralia.com.au.