The Pharmacy Guild acknowledges the significant contribution of Jane Halton AO PSM to the Commonwealth public service over many years, and wishes her well in her new endeavours.

Halton announced her resignation today as Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of Finance.

Between 2002 and 2014, Halton was Secretary of the Department of Health, a role in which she had considerable contact with the Pharmacy Guild and with the wider community pharmacy and pharmaceutical sectors.

As a Secretary of the Department of Health, Halton had a key role in the achievement of the Fourth and Fifth Community pharmacy Agreements, and as Finance Department Secretary in the Sixth Agreement.

As the second-ever woman to become Secretary of a Commonwealth Department, and the first woman to lead a central agency, Halton was a strong role model for women in the public and private sectors.

The Executive Director of the Guild, David Quilty, says: “Ms Halton was always a strong and persuasive advocate for the Commonwealth’s position on health and pharmacy issues, and the Guild appreciates the candour and good faith which she brought to our many dealings over the years.

“We wish her well and thank her for her contribution.”

Medicines Australia chairman Wes Cook also acknowledged Halton’s work and congratulated her on an exceptional career in public service.

“Medicines Australia and the innovative medicines industry enjoyed a strong and constructive relationship with Ms Halton and have appreciated her tireless efforts and leadership to ensure a sustainable Medicare and PBS for Australian patients,” Cook says.

“Implementing difficult but worthwhile reforms were a hallmark of Ms Halton’s time as Health Secretary. This included working with the medicines industry on significant changes to the structure of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme which ensured patients maintained access to medicines while delivering greater sustainability of funding, and the development of the first Memorandum of Understanding between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth Government in 2010.

“Of most significance was the development of a two-tiered pricing formulary known as F1 (for on patent therapies) and F2 (for off-patent therapies) and the introduction of enduring mechanisms which delivered savings that could be reinvested in the latest innovative treatments.

“I wish Ms Halton all the best for her future endeavours and have no doubt that her depth of experience in health will continue to be a wonderful asset in the ongoing policy debate.”