Medicines Australia
Update for HCOs

7 October 2020 


Dear Health Consumer Organisation Leads,

The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that there is a strong link between a healthy community and a healthy economy. Medicines Australia commends the Federal Government for their commitment to improving the health of Australians as we recover from the pandemic, while balancing the need to invest in industry growth and job creation.

This is a landmark step to introduce a guaranteed PBS new medicines funding commitment within the 2020 Budget– heralding a new chapter of greater certainty for Australian patients in accessing new, innovative medicines.

This commitment not only brings a hopeful future for Australian patients, their families and carers, it also represents a critical measure for Australia’s economic recovery – by enabling the adoption of new and transformative advancements for Australia’s overall health needs.


Federal Budget Highlights for Industry

Medicines Australia commends the Federal Budget for their commitment to improving the health of Australians as we recover from this pandemic.

• New medicines funding guarantee worth at least $2.8 billion over 4 years, starting immediately and at the same time, removing the requirement of cost offsets for new medicines listings on the PBS.  This is going to allow for medicines to be listed faster, without the need to find additional savings from other critical health areas.

• Fast-tracking electronic prescribing ($5million) and home delivery of medicines.  This will ensure our communities can continue to access innovative medicines.

• $2.3 billion investment in COVID-19 treatments and vaccines

• $125 million to improve the health of Australians in rural, remote and regional areas through access to innovative clinical trial

• $50 million to the establishment of the Victorian Melanoma and Clinical Trials Centre at the Alfred Hospital, helping researchers to better understand melanoma

• An increase of $33.6 billion through the new five-year National Hospital Funding Agreement

• $22.5 million investment in antimicrobial usage and antimicrobial resistance (AMR) surveillance.

• $2.4 billion total investment in telehealth.

• An investment of $1.5 billion in the Modern Manufacturing Strategy – of which medicines manufacturing has been identified as a key industry


Medicines Australia notes the new PBS listings announced in the Budget will provide further important health benefits for patients

• Lynparza® (olaparib) will be made available for the treatment of newly diagnosed advanced high grade epithelial ovarian, fallopian tube or primary peritoneal cancers.

• Tecentriq® (atezolizumab) and Avastin® (bevacizumab) will also be listed for Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common type of primary liver cancer.

• Eylea® (aflibercept) was listed for the treatment of subfoveal choroidal neovascularisation due to pathologic myopia.

• Calquence® (acalabrutinib) was listed for the treatment of chronic lymphoma leukaemia or small lymphocyctic lymphoma.

• Rozlytrek® (entrectinib) was listed for the treatment of non-small cell lung cancer.

• Ozempic® (semaglutide) was listed for the treatment of insufficiently controlled type 2 diabetes.

Industry Update for the Community


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• Don’t forget to register for TOMORROW’s Maximising Cash Generation developed by PwC, this program will provide guidance on how you can significantly increase cash by simply reallocating resources and effort into more impactful cash generation initiatives.  It’s about helping you to identify which initiatives are impactful and which ones are not!

Join PwC's for one webinar to discuss ways you can maximise cash generation for your organisation including:

• Changing financial reporting to promote good financial decisions

• Segmenting cash generation initiatives into "winners" and "losers" and reallocating resources accordingly

• Driving cash generation culture change

• Insourcing and outsourcing - how to determine best approach

Date: Thursday 8 October 2020 @ Time: 12pm– 1.30pm AEST Register here

• Australians should have the best access to medicines in the world, a new approach is needed to make our system fit for purpose.  Have your say on how Australia can continue to be well positioned to access new drugs and novel medical technologies, with particular focus on access to the treatment of rare diseases and conditions where there is high and unmet clinical need.  Submissions from interested individuals and organisations are invited by Tuesday 13 October.  If you have been impacted by COVID-19 and require an extension for submissions, please contact the secretariat on More information can be found here

• The next Continuity of Care Collaboration webinar - “Clinical Trials advancements” will be held on Friday 16 October 11am-12pm and is open to all HCPs, Industry, patients, consumers and interested general public.  Register here for Clinical trials advancements webinar

• The second edition of the MTPConnect COVID-19 Impact Report is now available. It includes perspectives shared by senior stakeholders from industry associations, companies, regulatory bodies, research organisations, government representatives and funders. (First edition MTPConnect COVID-19 Impact Report)


Developments in Healthcare Sector 

• A new report released today which sets out a national blueprint for support and development of self-care.  The blueprint for reform developed by the Mitchell Institute of Victoria University calls for government leadership to spur Australians to take more interest in and control of their health. 

• Pharmacy Guild of Australia national president George Tambassis has announced he will step aside at the end of his current term in February 2021, after 7 years in the role. More information here.

• NPS MedicineWise: Prescribing medicinal cannabis, there are more than 100 different cannabis products that are now available to prescribe.  As most are unregistered drugs, prescribing requires approval under the TGA Special Access Scheme-B or Authorised Prescriber Scheme.

• CHF are looking for innovative ideas from you about how they can improve and transform the health system and health outcomes in Australia.  Create a video about your Big Idea using Cinefly app. More information here.


HCO's Update

• World Mental Health Day will encourage everyone to look after your mental health with more than 60 organisations partnering this great cause and promoting positive mental health messages to their staff and clients for the month of October.

• Lifeline welcomes the National suicide and self-harm monitoring system website.

• The Department of Health is looking for two consumer representatives for possible appointment to the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority. The appointment is for a two-year term from July 2021 to July 2023. The work consists of one day per month for meeting attendance and two days a month of pre-reading prior to meetings. Expressions of interest close midnight AEST Sunday 4 October. Complete CHF nomination form here.


 Tools and Resources

• The Big Rethink: A guide for not-for-profits in Australia about Fundraising in the era of COVID-19.

• Back to the Office: A Return to Work Guide

• If you missed CHF’s Patients, partners in health-significant trends for change in Australia view the replay here.


We want to hear from you 

Please reach out to us if you would like to include any articles in these updates. Please email Petrina Keogh.

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