New Health Minister Mark Butler can lead generational health reform for all Australians

31 May 2022: The new Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon. Mark Butler MP, has the perfect opportunity to lead significant health system reform and set the course for world’s best health care for future generations.

In welcoming Minister Butler’s appointment, Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said reviews and reforms already underway will need the Minister’s leadership to ensure Australian patients have faster access to the latest innovative medicines, vaccines, and treatments.

“Medicines Australia developed a productive working relationship with Minister Butler during his time as Shadow Health Minister,” Ms de Somer said.

“He has shown passion and dedication and deep understanding of the complexities of the health portfolio, including the PBS and the medicines industry.

“He has always been collaborative with our organisation and shown an appetite for improvements that will speed up access to new and innovative medicines for all Australians.

“Labor has committed to deliver on its vision of universal, fast, and world -class medical care and we believe this is possible with bold patient-centred health reform.

“Minister Butler has shown vast knowledge and appreciation of the many complex and growing health needs of Australians, industry, and stakeholders, including patient groups, and is aware of the challenges and opportunities ahead.

“Medicines save lives and improve lives. Investment in the health of all Australians means better outcomes for our society, our economy, and our overall health and wellbeing,” Ms de Somer said.

Medicines Australia also congratulates the new Assistant Minister for Health and Aged Care, Ged Kearney, new Minister for Industry, Ed Husic, and the new Minister for Indigenous Australians, Linda Burney, and will seek meetings with these Ministers at the earliest opportunity to discuss the way forward to improve the health of all Australians.

Key priorities for Medicines Australia include:  

  • Full implementation of the Medicines Australia Strategic Agreement. 
  • Accepting the recommendations from the House of Representatives Inquiry and publishing a Government response. 
  • Finalising the National Medicines Policy Review and commit to its vision and purpose. 
  • Reform of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) process, including agreement on an Independent Chair for the Review Committee. 
  • Establishing a high-level, Government-Industry, life sciences roundtable forum that will drive increased investment in innovation, create jobs and ensure better health outcomes for Australians.


For further information or media interviews, please contact:
Chrystianna Moran – 0424 995 118 /
John Flannery – 0419 494 761 /