Embargoed until Tuesday March 15, 2022
The peak body for affordable medicines today announced Minister for Health and Aged Care, the Hon Greg Hunt MP and Shadow counterpart, the Hon Mark Butler MP, will join members and industry guests for its annual Budget Week industry luncheon in Parliament House on Thursday March 31, 2022.
Independent Chair of the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA), Professor Jane Halton AO PSM, today said it was a particularly important event given it was the last budget before the Federal election and the final one for Mr Hunt, who is retiring from politics.
As Australia begins to emerge from the economic and health ravages of the pandemic, the national health budget is under unprecedented pressure. GBMA will continue to work closely with both parties to ensure effective policies are developed that not only provide greater health outcomes for Australians but that also ensure the overwhelmed health budget can be repaired and stabilised.
“We know the last year has been particularly tough for many Australians, particularly those most vulnerable, and our priority has been to ensure every Australian can continue to have equitable and affordable access to safe medicines,” said Prof. Halton.
“A key focus for the GBMA in 2022 will be to help the next Government implement policy levers that help drive the uptake of biosimilars,” Prof. Halton said. “Biosimilars will offset the cost of the innovative but expensive biologic treatments that the Government is under pressure to subsidise.”
The CEO of the GBMA, Ms Marnie Peterson, said this year also marked the start of the sector’s five-year Strategic Agreement that would also see GBMA members invest in supply and infrastructure that would allow them to increase their stockholdings of medicines to four and six months.
“We are doing everything we can to ensure Australians are protected against international supply chain shocks,” Ms Peterson said. “Whilst at the same time, we are creating that all important fiscal headroom on the PBS that allows greater access to new medicines.
Having a workable balance between biologic medicines and their biosimilar equivalents will be key to create a sustainable platform for the PBS.”
Ms Peterson said that the GBMA looks forward to hosting Mr Hunt during his last budget week ever as a Minister and Mr Butler, on the same day as the Opposition’s Budget Reply.
“The GBMA stands ready to work with the next Government to ensure the needs of the Australian patient continues to be prioritised.” ENDS
NB: Media are invited to attend the luncheon on Thursday, March 31. Mural Hall. For further details, please RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.