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Federal Government makes bold commitment to the health of Australians.

Tuesday, 6 October 2020

Media Release

Medicines Australia commends the Federal Government for their commitment to improving the health of Australians as we recover from the pandemic, while balancing the need to invest in industry growth and job creation.

Medicines Australia CEO, Ms Elizabeth de Somer said: “The linkages between our health and productivity have never been clearer with the Government’s announcement of the new medicines funding guarantee, worth at least $2.8 billion over 4 years, starting immediately and at the same time, removing the requirement for cost offsets for new medicine listings on the PBS.

“This is going to allow for medicines to be listed faster, without the need to find additional savings from other critical health areas,” said Ms de Somer.

Additionally, a framework for a new Strategic Agreement has been developed which represents the shared intent to deliver greater long-term certainty for both industry and Government following the expiry of the existing Agreement in June 2022.

“Alongside the substantial investment committed to health in the Budget, predictable savings to the Government, commencing in 2023, are required to continue the effective management of the challenging Budget backdrop,” added Ms de Somer.

In addition to this, the Federal Government is building on the willingness of Australia’s patients and medical fraternity to embrace digital health during the pandemic by fast-tracking electronic prescribing ($5 million) and home delivery of medicines. This will ensure the most vulnerable in our communities can continue to access innovative medicines.

Medicines Australia also welcomes the investment of $12 million to modernise the Therapeutic Goods Administration business systems to streamline processes for the medicines industry and reduce red tape for new medicines.

“While the Government has announced an additional $2 billion and other revisions to the Research and Development Tax Incentive, we look forward to seeing the detail of how the reforms will achieve the stated objective to increase research and development investment,” said Ms de Somer.

Other measures announced in the Federal Budget include:

  • $2.3 billion investment in COVID-19 treatments and vaccines
  • An investment of $1.5 billion in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy – of which medicines manufacturing has been identified as a key industry
  • Development of a unique identification framework for PBS medicines will be devised to offer a tracking system for medicines.
  • $1 billion for new research funding for our universities.
  • $50 million to the establishment of the Victorian Melanoma and Clinical Trials Centre at the Alfred Hospital, helping researchers to better understand melanoma.

Medicines Australia notes the new PBS listings announced in the Budget will provide further important health benefits for patients.

  • Lynparza® (olaparib) will be made available for the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers.
  • Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) and Avastin® (bevacizumab) will also be listed for Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer.
  • Eylea® (aflibercept) was listed for the treatment of subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation due to pathologic myopia.
  • Calquence® (acalabrutinib) was listed for the treatment of chronic lymphoma leukaemia or small lymphocyctic lymphoma.
  • Rozlytrek® (entrectinib) was listed for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.
  • Ozempic® (semaglutide) was listed for the treatment of insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes.

“This historic Budget will bring substantial changes to the healthcare system and Medicines Australia looks forward to working with the Government on implementing these essential reforms and contributing to Australia’s health led-economic recovery,” concluded Ms de Somer.

Ends

More information – Natalie Wimmer – nwimmer@medaus.com.au – 0450 728 600.

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