30 September 2020
The Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association looks to create pharmaceutical ‘green lanes’ – through shipping congestion and industrial action – for vital medicines
Canberra: Australia’s peak body for generic and biosimilar medicines has been urgently working with its members and the Australian Government to ensure vital medicines continue to be delivered through the industrial action and ongoing congestion at Australian ports.
CEO of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA), Ms Marnie Peterson, said members were concerned about any potential delays to medicines reaching the patients that needed them, in particularly those most vulnerable during the pandemic.
Sydney’s Port Botany is a central pre-wholesale delivery port for the country’s imported pharmaceuticals. From there, medicines are distributed to all parts of Australia.
“GBMA members have been working around the clock for months to do what we can, where we can, to ensure all Australians can continue to access safe and affordable medicines,” Ms Peterson said.
“The safe and timely delivery of our medicines to our patients who are in need is our main priority, and these challenges faced at the Sydney ports comes after months of our members battling high air freight costs, border closures, increasing shipping costs and port congestion.”
With the largest volume percentage of medicines on the PBS being generic products, GBMA is working with the Australian Government and key stakeholders, to understand what, and how many, medicines may be affected and what can be done to identify and mitigate any supply risks.
During the height of the pandemic, GBMA worked with its international colleagues to create pharmaceutical ‘green lanes’ to ensure vital medicines were able to pass through closed borders. It was now hoping to work with all stakeholders, whether a similar system can be established at Australian ports.
Australia has a great health system and a world class supply chain of safe and affordable medicines, but any unintended interference with it can have serious consequences for Australia’s most vulnerable.
GBMA advises Australians who are concerned about the availability of their medicines to check the TGA website link and to discuss their concerns with their healthcare professional.
Executive Counsel Australia
0419 204 059