Today’s health debate should focus on ensuring the PBS is well funded and fit for the future.

Medicines Australia urges the Minister for Health the Hon Greg Hunt MP and the Shadow Health Minister the Hon Catherine King MP to use today’s Health Policy Debate at the National Press Club as an opportunity to outline their plans for the future sustainability and viability of the PBS.

Medicines Australia CEO Liz de Somer said that both major parties have a strong focus on listing new medicines and providing funding for disease groups.

“We welcome these announcements, but we need to also look to the future and ensure our funding and regulatory systems are up to the challenge,” Ms de Somer said.

“Medicines are integral to healthcare delivery and play a vital role in helping Australians live longer and healthier lives – keeping them in the workplace, out of hospitals and contributing to the community and economy.  It’s crucial we move to a commitment to invest in the PBS versus the current long-term decline, while funding for other important areas of healthcare continues to rise.

“We need to work urgently now on how we can ensure access to the monumental shifts in the way diseases are managed and treated, with the first of these announced just a fortnight ago.

“Unfortunately, we are also seeing unnecessary delays in listing times, and an uncertain regulatory and reimbursement pathway for these treatments.

“Adopting and funding these medical breakthroughs is a vital step for Australia, particularly as the population ages and we once again have the opportunity to become a regional leader in the manufacture of these new medicines.

“But that won’t happen unless we have a thorough look at our system. That’s why Medicines Australia has called for a multi-stakeholder review of the National Medicines Policy to ensure these treatments can be accommodated and Australians have timely and affordable access to these game changing medicines.

“We hope today’s discussion is a robust one, which outlines how both parties will consider transformational medicines and the role they will play for the individual, the community and the Australian economy,” Ms de Somer said.

Medicines Australia’s key election commitments document is available here

–Ends —

More information – Natalie Wimmer- Communications Manager, Medicines Australia – 0450728660 –