Delays in access to affordable medicines: putting policy into perspective

Australian Healthcare Association
Publication Type:
Journal Article
Australian Health Review, 2012, 36 (4), pp. 412 - 418
Issue Date:
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To save costs, the Australian Government recently deferred approval of seven new medicines recommended by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for up to 7 months.Objectives: The aim of this research is to examine the timelines of PBAC applications following approval by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), allowing the recent Cabinet delays to be considered in the context of the overall medicines approval process. Methods. All new chemical entities and products for new indications approved in 2004 by the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) were identified. Outcomes of PBAC meetings from 2004 to 2010 were then searched to identify if and when these products were reviewed by PBAC. Results: ADEC recommended 63 eligible products for registration in 2004. Of the 113 submissions made to PBAC for these products, 66 were successful. Only 43% of the products were submitted to PBAC within 2 years, with an average 17-month delay from TGA approval of a product to consideration by the PBAC. Conclusions: Cabinet decisions to defer listing of new medicines delays access to new treatments. This occurred in addition to other longer delays, earlier in the approval process for medicines, resulting in a significant impact on the overall timeliness of listing.
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