Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme a national treasure: MA Chairman

In his address to the country at the National Press Club in Canberra yesterday, Chairman of Medicines Australia, Dr Martin Cross, emphasised the sustainability of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the importance of working closely with government.

“Australians enjoy amongst the highest life expectancy in the world thanks in large part to the medicines available through the PBS,” Dr Cross said.

“However, to ensure the future viability of the PBS, it is vital that we have a stable policy framework between government and the industry, despite the challenges we have faced in the past.”

Dr Cross also said pragmatic solutions are now required to ensure Australians continue to have universal, timely access to the latest medicines and the industry remains a strong contributor to the wealth as well as the health of the nation.

Medicines Australia also hosted its annual Parliamentary Dinner last night at Parliament House with guest of honour, Health Minister, Peter Dutton, and keynote speaker, Professor John Shine, Chairman of CSL.

Mr Dutton told the gathering the Parliamentary dinner is a good opportunity for industry to showcase their work, so government can get a better understanding of how it can provide support, including support for the growth of what is a viable sector.

“The Government is committed to working with industry, especially during what is a fiscally tight environment,” Minister for Health, Peter Dutton, said.

“For any government, especially in these fiscal circumstances, first year budgets are always difficult, but we want to make sure we can work closely with industry and sectors.”

Keynote speaker, Professor Shine, said that predictability in the policy environment was critical to future investment.

“With greater certainty around PBS assessment and reimbursement, industry can turn its mind to growing its business interests in Australia as a key partner in the future vision for Australia as a world-class centre of innovative drug development, manufacturing and healthcare delivery,” Professor Shine said.

Copies of these speeches will be available soon on Medicines Australia’s website at:

To view the NPC address, go to the ABC News website at:


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