Stronger patient involvement in new medicines

New strategic agreement between Medicines Industry and Government means stronger patient involvement in new medicines.

Medicines Australia has secured a 5-year Strategic Agreement with the Federal Government, centered on earlier patient involvement and influence in the availability of new medicines in Australia.

In a major step forward, the Agreement ensures patients will become fundamental contributors to the first independent review of Australia’s Health Technology Assessment (HTA) system in nearly 30 years. The HTA system reviews new medicines and technologies before they are made available in Australia.

“This Agreement firmly demonstrates the Government and industry’s shared goal of ensuring patient voices are heard earlier and new medicines are accessed faster. It is critical we capture patients’ experiences and realise the benefits of quickly evolving medicines and new technologies,” said Elizabeth de Somer, CEO of Medicines Australia.

A new process will incorporate patients’ views and experiences early in the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) assessment of medicines to be funded on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). Earlier involvement will help to make the full value of new medicines clear, in terms of what is important to patients. The enhanced consumer engagement is expected to improve efficiencies in PBAC decisions and create faster access to lifesaving medicines and treatments.

A further benefit for patients is a commitment in the Agreement to identify major advances in healthcare in future years through improved horizon scanning. This will be achieved in consultation with Government, industry and patients, and ensure Australia’s healthcare system can adequately prepare for changes ahead of time.

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