New medicines continue to boost health outcomes

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers today welcomed the findings of Australia’s Health 2008.

The report, published by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, reaffirms the critical role of innovative new medicines in the healthcare system.

The study found that cholesterol lowering medication helps nearly two million people a day. Similarly, anti-depressants make a difference to the lives of 780,000 people every day.

According to the report, two children are diagnosed each day with Type 1 diabetes.

Every day 130 people aged 40 to 90 suffer a heart attack.

Mr Chalmers said the findings of Australia’s Health 2008 underscore the value of medicines, particularly in preventative health and in chronic disease management.

“This report demonstrates very clearly the enormous benefit that Australian patients gain from the appropriate use of prescription medicines,” Mr Chalmers said.

“We can see clear improvements in a number of chronic conditions such as high blood pressure and high blood cholesterol, where innovative medicines are having a significant impact.

“These findings reinforce the importance of the Government’s strong focus on preventative health and chronic disease in its approach to healthcare management.”

The report found also that Australia leads the world in vaccination, with 90 per cent of children fully immunised against preventable childhood diseases at age two. Two thousand infants receive a dose of the triple antigen vaccine to prevent diphtheria, tetanus and polio every day.

Other findings included improved survival rates for cancer and heart disease.

Mr Chalmers congratulated the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare on compiling the report.

“I commend the Institute on the excellent job they have done in researching and compiling another comprehensive and extremely informative study on the health of all Australians,” Mr Chalmers said.

“These national health statistics provide all of us in the healthcare arena with a valuable perspective of the sector’s effectiveness in optimising patient health outcomes.”

Australia’s Health has been published biannually since 1988.


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