26 May 2019
The peak body for generic and biosimilar medicines congratulates the Coalition on securing a clear majority in its election victory and welcomes Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s announcement of his Ministry, particularly the reappointment of Greg Hunt as Australia’s Health Minister.
CEO of the Generic and Biosimilars Medicines Association (GBMA), Ms Marnie Peterson, said that GBMA members look forward to continuing their strong working relationship with Minister Hunt to ensure that Australians continue to have access to high quality, safe and affordable generic and biosimilar medicines.
“Generic and biosimilar medicines have been a frontline instrument for providing affordable medicines through the PBS and the GBMA is well-placed and ready to discuss the future of Australia’s health system with the returned Government,” Ms Peterson said.
“Australia faces challenges across all sectors of its health system. The security and viability of the Australian healthcare system and the sustainability of the PBS is paramount, with the right policies and frameworks to support world-class healthcare for Australian patients,” she said. “GBMA is an integral stakeholder in the healthcare system that is committed to working with the returned government to meet these challenges, ensuring all Australians receive the best health outcomes today and into the future.”
Ms Peterson said Minister Hunt had a commendable track record as Health Minister, with a strong focus on improving the health and welfare of Australians. He had repeatedly demonstrated his commitment with the listing of approved medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), she added.
During the election campaign, the GBMA was pleased to receive support from Minister Hunt reaffirming the Morrison Government’s commitment to the generic and biosimilar medicines sector to not only support patients, but in recognition that the sector required stability and predictability for market access and to invest in new treatments and jobs.
In response, GBMA Chair, Mr Sylvain Vigneault welcomed this commitment and said: “Through both educational and policy initiatives, we look forward to Minister Hunt’s continued support to drive further uptake of generic and biosimilar medicines. This will provide a clear benefit when the cost savings derived from the introduction of biosimilar medicines are used to contribute to the much-needed subsidy for new listings”.
The GBMA’s focus – to provide timely access to affordable medicines for more Australians and the sustainability of the PBS – has expanded to encompass the facilitation of peer-to-peer information exchange about the role of biosimilar medicines in delivering sustainable, high-quality healthcare to Australian patients.
“The GBMA looks forward to continued collaboration with the Morrison Government and all of our stakeholders in this important work,” Mr Vigneault said.
GBMA is the national association representing companies that manufacture, supply and export generic and biosimilar medicines. GBMA represents all major generic medicine suppliers in Australia and more than 90% of all generic medicines dispensed in Australia. Members of GBMA ensure all Australians are offered high quality generic and biosimilar medicines, which provide affordable health outcomes that benefit all Australians. Members of GBMA take seriously their role in the responsible provision of affordable medicines in Australia, as stipulated in the National Medicines Policy. The generic and biosimilar medicines sector is a high value-add sector delivering significant health and economic benefits to the Australian public. The availability of generic medicines in this country helps to deliver:
– Timely access to affordable medicines;
– Substantial savings to the PBS;
– Thousands of highly skilled jobs; and
– Domestic manufacturing and annual exports of around $300 million.