New five-year medicines agreements in Australia

Genéricos/General | Posted 24/09/2021 post-comment0

The Australian Government has entered into five-year strategic agreements with Medicines Australia and the Generics and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA), to improve access to affordable, innovative, and life-saving therapies, vaccines and medicines.

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Announced on 7 September 2021, the new strategic agreements hope to reduce the cost of prescription medicines and improve the supply of medicines available through Australia’s Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). In addition, through a Medicines Supply Security Guarantee, measures will be included to protect medicines supplies from the impact of the global and domestic medicine supply shortages and interruptions. The Australian agreements also hope to ensure that Australia can keep up with medicines innovations to maintain patient access to medical products and technologies. Many aspects of the agreements reflect those included in the European Medicines Agency’s (EMA) recent five-year strategy to protect public health in times of rapid change [1].

The agreements will be in place from 1 July 2022 to 30 June 2027. Overall, they include:
– Investment of approximately AU$5 billion in PBS medicines over the five years
– A Medicines Supply Security Guarantee
– An Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process to enable consumer and patient engagement through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) assessment process
– Timely access to medicines by enhancing the country’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) processes
– An improved pricing system for medicines
– A forum for early access to breakthrough treatments
– Commitments to policy stability and predictability for the medicines industry
 
The agreements are to support the medicines industry, who will benefit from stability and certainty for investment in new medicines. They will also support pharmacists, prescribers and other healthcare workers, by protecting the supply chain. The commitment to an improved statutory pricing system for PBS medicines will generate savings nearing US$2 billion, which will be invested in new PBS medicines listings. This will support the whole Australian medicines industry by providing continuous investment in new medicines.

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Reference
1. GaBI Online - Generics and Biosimilars Initiative. EMA and EU medicines regulatory joint five-year strategy [www.gabionline.net]. Mol, Belgium: Pro Pharma Communications International; [cited 2021 Sep 24]. Available from: www.gabionline.net/policies-legislation/EMA-and-EU-medicines-regulatory-joint-five-year-strategy

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