The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia has declared its support for faster and improved access to vital medicines and medical devices as announced in the 2016 Federal Budget.
“The decision by the Turnbull Government to provide $20.4 million over four years to enhance the regulation of therapeutic goods in Australia is great news,” says SHPA CEO Kristin Michaels.
“SHPA applauds the enhancement of the current arrangements into a dynamic and flexible regulatory framework that will fast-track access to new medicines and medical devices.
“SHPA supported these reforms in our submission to the Expert Panel Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation and it is pleasing to see the Turnbull Government taking decisive action to implement key recommendations,” Michaels says.
“Enabling patients to have access to life-saving medicines and medical devices, up to two years earlier than the current framework allows, is a most commendable initiative.
“The timeframe for Australian patients to have access to breakthrough medicines will now be in line with patients in the US or Europe.
“It is imperative that regulation, while providing protection for consumers, is freed from unnecessary red tape, keeps up with the fast pace of innovation and recognises that drug regulation is a global enterprise.
“Collaborating and sharing information with international trusted regulators is a logical step to improve the efficiency of medicine and medical device regulation,” Michaels says.
SHPA also says it supports continued investment into new medicines in the 2016 Federal Budget.
“SHPA is pleased to see that the Federal Health Minister, the Hon Sussan Ley, has adopted Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee’s recommendations to ensure that Australians have affordable access to the newest and most effective medicines,” Michaels says.
“The Society also commends the additional $63.8 million in new and amended PBS listings which will include new treatments for breast and prostate cancer, and melanoma.”
Michaels says that since the 2015-16 Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook, new and amended listings to the PBS have included:
- four new treatments for Hepatitis C and the establishment of a Chronic Hepatitis C National Registry to track health outcomes;
- Mesalazine (Mezavant) for the treatment of the bowel condition ulcerative colitis;
- Bendamustine (Ribomustine) for the treatment of Stage III-IV non-Hodgkin lymphoma and Stage III-IV Mantle Cell Lymphoma; and
- Omalizumab (Xolair) for the treatment of severe allergic asthma.
“Many of our members work in hospitals around Australia and they know how vital it is for patients to access to these medicines,” Michaels says.
“These new PBS listings will take pressure off public hospitals, who have been generously funding these high-cost treatments to patients, and will ensure that more Australian patients can benefit from newer, life-saving treatments sooner.
“SHPA is delighted to see that the Turnbull Government continues to deliver on its promise to restore the independence of PBAC and the integrity of the PBS listing process.”