The Generic Medicines Industry Association (GMiA) has signed a Strategic Agreement with the Australian Government to support the ongoing supply of affordable generic and biosimilar medicines in Australia and deliver a five year period of certainty for the industry that provides them.
The Agreement recognises the essential role of generic medicines and biosimilars in delivering affordable healthcare through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). It also recognises the significant savings that continue to be delivered by generic medicines and biosimilars, first by providing competition and then through price disclosure.
“Every time a patient or healthcare professional uses a generic medicine or a biosimilar it saves money that can be used to pay for newer PBS medicines. GMiA members have, and continue to, deliver billions of dollars in PBS savings,” said Mark Crotty, GMiA Chairman (2015).
“GMiA and the Government have a common interest in the ongoing and reliable access to affordable generic medicines and biosimilars, a strong PBS that can meet the current and future needs of Australians, and having a sustainable generic medicines sector,” he said.
The Strategic Agreement is the result of constructive and respectful dialogue between the GMiA and the Government over the past three months and is the first strategic agreement GMiA has signed with the Australian Government. It states that both parties will work together to identify and implement initiatives to support the ongoing sustainability of the generic medicines sector, undertaken as part of a “sustainability initiative” between the Commonwealth and GMiA.
The Agreement states that no further price-related changes will be made to the F2 formulary, and that the Department of Health and GMiA will work collaboratively to identify, and resolve quickly, any unintended consequences of budget savings particularly where they may impact on the reliable supply of vital, affordable medicines for Australian patients.
Through this Strategic Agreement, GMiA will also work to ensure that Australia can realise the full benefits of biosimilars. GMiA will continue to work with the Government on initiatives to encourage biosimilar uptake as well as a $20 million national education campaign to increase doctor and consumer awareness and understanding of biosimilars.