1 February 2021
Canberra: Australia’s patients will be the big winners out of a new law that will prioritise the active ingredient over the brand name of a medicine, for all eligible prescriptions generated under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Repatriation PBS (RPBS) prescriptions.
The Chief Executive Officer of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA), Ms Marnie Peterson, said the reforms, effective from February 01 2021, will support patient safety by making it easier for patients to identify a medicine’s active ingredient and to discuss, with their prescriber or pharmacist, generic alternatives for their medications. This is particularly valuable during times when a particular brand of medicine is in short supply.
“We congratulate the Minister for Health, Mr Greg Hunt MP, for introducing these changes that will empower patients to better understand the active ingredients of medicines, whilst reducing their out of pocket costs,” Ms Peterson said.
Active Ingredient Prescribing (AIP) aims to increase consumer understanding of their medicines, assist with health literacy and communication, and increase the uptake of generic and biosimilar medicines, whilst retaining choice for both prescribers and patients. By driving further generic and biosimilar uptake, the measure also supports the delivery of savings to an already overwhelmed health budget and is expected to improve the financial stability of the PBS.
The new Independent Chair of GBMA, Ms Jane Halton AO PSM, welcomed Australia’s Active Ingredient Prescribing laws, which brings Australia’s prescribing practices into alignment with international standards, supporting improvements to patient safety through standardised descriptions of medicines.
“Not only is this reform a game changer for Australian patients,” Ms Halton said. “but it truly showcases the Australian Government’s commitment in empowering patients with more knowledge and a better understanding of their medicines. This is of key importance in the current COVID-19 environment.”
The implementation of the AIP reforms was negotiated by the GBMA as part of its existing strategic agreement with the Australian Government.
Jane Halton AO PSM is the Chair of the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovationsand Co-Chair of the COVAX initiative. Ms Halton is also a member of Prime Minister’s COVID-19 Coordination Commission advisory committee. ENDS
Further information can be found online at www.pbs.gov.au/info/general/active-ingredient-prescribing
The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) is the peak representative body of generic and biosimilar medicine suppliers in Australia.
Its members ensure that all Australians are offered high quality generic and biosimilar medicines, whilst providing affordable community health outcomes that benefit all Australians.
Executive Counsel Australia
0419 204 059