Medicines Australia
Update for HCOs

25 November 2020 


Good afternoon HCO leads and welcome to Medicines Australia’s fortnightly update.

In summary, we launched Medicines Matter: Access to Medicines report last week and it is clear that despite improvements there is still plenty to do; 163 submissions lodged for the Zimmerman Inquiry including Medicines Australia; PVI launches new patient-based evidence video series on how to get involved with reimbursement process and the CCC is hosting its last webinar for the year on ‘The Future of Healthcare’.


Industry Update for the Community

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Australia’s vaccine agreements: Australia has entered into 5 separate agreements for the supply of COVID-19 vaccines, if they are proved to be safe and effective.

- Medicines Australia released the Medicines Matter: Access to Medicines report for 2014-19 report at the BioPharmaDispatch conference last week. The report makes it clear that despite improvements in Australia especially on registration of new medicines, there is still plenty for Government, industry and patient groups to collaborate upon to ensure the fastest possible access for patients.

- Many participants who attended the BioPharmaDispatch conference are closely watching the Zimmerman Inquiry into the approval processes for access to new medicines and novel technologies. The overwhelming view of patients, industry, clinicians, researchers and others demonstrate that the system is falling short of community expectations, particularly in the time it takes to get subsidised access to new, life changing treatments. A total of 163 submissions have been lodged. The Medicines Australia submission can be viewed here.

- It was evident at the BioPharmaDispatch conference last week that Industry language is a barrier to advocate on medicines access. PVI have put together a dictionary of healthcare jargon to help you navigate through some of industry’s acronyms here.

- Patient Voice Initiative have launched ‘Patient-based evidence video series’ for health consumers and their organisations who are not sure why they might get involved with reimbursement decision processes, especially using patient-based evidence.

EOIs for the two consumer representatives for the Medicines Australia and NACCHO Committee to lead and support medicines related measures that improve health outcomes for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients and communities.

- The last Continuity of Care Collaboration (CCC) webinar for this year, The Future of Healthcare, will be held on Friday 27 November at 11am. Register now.


HCOs Update 

- A new report has called for a Consumer Health Leaders Academy to strengthen the role of consumers in health system decision-making.

Asthma Australia is launching the Asthma Australia Research Program and is inviting you to join a 1-hour online seminar on Tuesday 10 December 2020 to tell you about this program, priority research areas and share the program’s objectives. Register now.

- The Australian Patients Association (APA) is conducting its first ever National Health Check. We want to hear your opinion about Australia's Health system.

This is your opportunity to share your concerns with an organisation committed to being the Patients Voice. All responses are anonymous. To participate in the survey, click here.

- This year, support World AIDS Day on Dec 1 by buying a virtual ribbon today from Living Positive Victoria.  Buy one for $2, $5 or $10.  Please proudly display your Red Ribbon on your social media channels on the 1st Dec! We rely on your support to advocate on behalf of people living with HIV and lobby government, business, and non-government organisations, to ensure improved wellbeing, care and support for people living with HIV/AIDS, their partners and family members. Help us in supporting people living with HIV in Victoria and Tasmania today by clocking this link. 


 Tools, resources and webinars

- Iron deficiency is a significant health issue in Australia yet is insufficiently prioritised, diagnosed and treated. The Iron Deficiency Collaborative was created to provide an independent structure to identify and deliver recommendations to the Australian healthcare system. Public consultation on the draft recommendations closes on 26 November 2020. Register here.

- Free webinar on ‘Building COVID-19 Vaccine Confidence: What the World Needs to Know Now’  on 1 December 2020.


Medicines Australia Code of Conduct

With the introduction of Edition 19, we will be hosting webinars with our  HCO partners early next year but in the meantime, we thought we would provide you with scenarios in each edition to demonstrate how HCOs and industry can interact effectively. 

Medicines Australia Code Edition 19 has a new inclusion titled ‘Ethical interactions with relevant stakeholders. Behind this snappy title is the permission our members have been seeking – being able to have conversations with non-healthcare professional stakeholders, like you!  This is one of those long-standing questions that the Code Team would answer regularly – a variant of: “can I talk to the head of this HCO about products, even if they’re not a HCP?”

To help our members determine how to ethically have these conversations, we’ve now included guidelines on what is permissible and what should be avoided. In a nutshell, we have defined what a relevant stakeholder would be (e.g. member of government/government agency, HCO, Supply chain and distribution, etc); and we have set out that the language must be non-promotional and not made with the intention to inform clinical decision making relevant to individual patients.

We are here to answer any of your tricky questions, just drop a note to Petrina Keogh and start the conversation.


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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