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Medicines Australia announces new CEO

Tuesday, 12 June 2018

Media Release

Medicines Australia, the peak body representing the innovative medicines industry has today announced the appointment of Ms Elizabeth de Somer as the new Chief Executive Officer; and the first female to take on the role.

Ms de Somer is a dedicated advocate and policy expert for the pharmaceutical sector and is well known as a trusted expert in medicines policy having been Medicines Australia’s Director of Policy and and Research for the last five years and Interim CEO since April.

Ms de Somer has worked tirelessly on issues critical to the sector including the negotiation of the five-year Strategic Agreement made with the Government in 2017. Ms de Somer recognises that managing medicines policy requires a deep understanding of the commercial imperatives of companies and how policies interact with commercial decisions.

In accepting the role, Ms de Somer said “I am delighted and honoured to accept the role of CEO for Medicines Australia and to be able to play such a crucial role in ensuring that the Australian community has fast, affordable access to the latest innovative medicines and vaccines.”

“I am committed to broadening the understanding of the immense value this industry brings to the economy and to the community, and ensuring that the system is ready to handle the newest technologies.”

“Medicines Australia members are at the forefront of medical science innovation both in Australia and around the world and it is important that Australian patients continue to get access to these world class treatments.”

Mr Wes Cook, Chair of Medicines Australia congratulated Elizabeth de Somer on her appointment saying: “I have had the great pleasure of working closely with Ms de Somer over the past three years and I have the utmost confidence that she is well equipped to take on the role of CEO”

“Not only does she have the skills required but importantly she has the passion, enthusiasm and energy needed for such a challenging role in a complex environment.”

“We are fortunate to have such a depth of talent and experience in our organisation, and the Board is delighted to welcome Elizabeth to her new role as Chief Executive of Medicines Australia”

“The Board is confident that under Elizabeth’s guidance, Medicines Australia is well positioned to continue building community understanding of the value of new medicines while focusing on ensuring Australians have access to these latest innovative medicines that they need when they need them.”



More information

Natalie Wimmer – Communications Manager

P: 0450728660


As COVID19 continues to spread, our thoughts go out to anyone who has been infected or impacted. We hope that you are taking the necessary precautions to keep safe and well, both at work and at home.

Medicines Australia continues to monitor the situation and take advice from the Department of Health and the World Health Organisation. We are focused on responding to the important short-term issues but are also ensuring we stay balanced and maintain a focus on the medium and long-term business for our industry along with the well-being of our people.

At Medicines Australia we have initiated the following to ensure we support containment measures to provide business continuity and the well-being of our staff.

  • All non-essential travel has been restricted or cancelled
  • All face-to-face meetings (with external stakeholders and members) have been changed to virtual meetings (where appropriate)
  • Staff have been provided with the latest official information on COVID-19 through a hot-link on the office intranet; this information is regularly monitored and updated
  • Flexible working arrangements are covered in our HR policy which will allow staff to work remotely, if or when required
  • Current IT infrastructure enables staff to work remotely and will be in use if any person needs to self-isolate
  • Visual reminders have been displayed around the office, providing information about best hygiene practices
  • Extra hand-sanitiser, tissues and cleaning products have been supplied to staff for their work spaces

Our latest information is located at