10 November 2015.
Four policy priorities that will safeguard affordable access to medicines in Australia while ensuring the generic and biosimilar medicines industry remains viable have been agreed to by the Federal Government.
The Generic Medicines Working Group (GMWG), which was established under the Strategic Agreement signed by the Minister for Heath, Hon Sussan Ley and the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) in May 2015, has identified four policy priorities that have been endorsed by the Minister. The four policy priorities relate to:
- Pricing policy, supply and industry viability
- Uptake drivers for generic and biosimilar medicines
- Biosimilar medicines – patient access and utilisation
- Transparency of PBS processes
Under the Strategic Agreement between the Commonwealth and the GBMA, both parties will work together to identify and implement initiatives to support the ongoing sustainability of the generic medicines sector.
“GBMA and the Government have a common interest in the ongoing and reliable access to affordable generic medicines and biosimilars, a strong Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) that can meet the current and future needs of Australians, and having a sustainable generic medicines sector,” said GBMA Chairman, Allan Tillack.
“Generic medicines and biosimilars play an essential role in delivering affordable healthcare through the PBS. However, some medicines are now supplied for less than the cost of a cup of coffee and this unsustainable pricing is resulting in medicines being removed from the PBS, impacting supply for patients,” he said.
“The viability of our sector and the ongoing supply of affordable medicines are of paramount importance to the provision of quality healthcare to Australians. It is essential that industry and the government work together through the GMWG to deliver tangible solutions that directly address patient access and affordability of high quality medicines, while securing the ongoing viability of the industry that supplies them,” Mr. Tillack said.