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Medicines Matter – Pre-election focus on health and better access to new medicines

Friday, 15 February 2019

Media Release

As the Parliament gears up for the Federal Budget and campaigning commences for the election, Medicines Australia welcomes strong statements on health from both major political parties.

“Medicines Australia looks forward to unpacking the detail and examining the opportunities of the Australian Health Reform Commission, announced by Shadow Minister for Health, the Hon Catherine King, MP, which she claims will focus on long-term reform beyond the three-year political cycle,” says Medicines Australia CEO Elizabeth de Somer.

“It is time for the Australian Government to have a long-term vision for health, to prepare for the disruptive, transformative, innovations of the future, particularly in medicines, and ensure that Australians can always choose the best healthcare options available, when they need them,” said Ms de Somer.

Shadow Minister King’s speech follows the address at the National Press Club on Monday given by Prime Minister, the Hon Scott Morrison MP who launched the “Safer Australia: A Secure Future” strategy. The importance of medicines was also prominent in the strategy that outlined the Coalition’s commitment to strengthen Australia’s Immunisation Programme, with an investment of $12 million to educate families about the importance of immunisation.

Prime Minister Morrison also reiterated the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MPs record of listing new medicines on the PBS to give Australians access to the best health care on the back of a strong economy.

“It’s pleasing to see that both parties are willing to make the right choices in order to maintain Australia’s innovative medicines sector and to keep Australia healthy. Faster access to breakthrough treatments is absolutely essential to ensuring Australia’s healthcare system remains world leading,” said Ms de Somer.

“Australia currently sits at 17/20 for time taken to access to new medicines among other comparable OECD countries – that is just not good enough.

“The challenge for government, the community and industry is to ensure that the PBS can fully fund the needs and demands of Australian patients, not just for today’s medicines and vaccines, but for tomorrow’s advancements in innovative therapies.

“This can only be achieved by Government making a commitment to work with industry to maintain a fit-for-purpose PBS; support innovation, R&D and the investment environment; and provide additional business certainty for Australia’s innovative medicines manufacturers,” she concluded.

 

Ends

More information – Natalie Wimmer – Communications and Media Manager – Medicines Australia – 0450728660 – nwimmer@medaus.com.au

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