Patients set to gain from PBAC transparency

Medicines Australia chief executive Ian Chalmers has congratulated the Government on its decision to publish the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s agenda six weeks in advance of its quarterly meetings.

Mr Chalmers said the measure was an important step in improving the transparency and accountability of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme listing process for new medicines.

“I commend the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon on this important initiative, which is a significant reform to the PBS,” Mr Chalmers said.

“This measure will give patients, doctors and the wider community the opportunity to provide input to the PBAC decision-making process. They can now participate in decisions that will affect their day-to-day life.”

The move to make PBAC agendas available to the public stems from discussions held at the Medicines Australia / Department of Health and Ageing Joint Medicines Policy Conference in 2006.

It is also a result of subsequent work undertaken by the joint industry-Government Access to Medicines Working Group, which was established as a key part of PBS reform to investigate means of improving the process for listing new medicines on the PBS.

“This initiative shows what can be achieved when government and industry work in partnership to deliver improvements to the PBS,” Mr Chalmers said.

“PBS reform sought to provide a better system for Australian patients and this measure is a part of that ongoing improvement.”

The PBAC is the independent body which recommends to the Minister for Health and Ageing which medicines should be subsidised by the Australian Government on the PBS.


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