Securing The Nation Against Potential Threats

A national stockpile of vital drugs and equipment for use in a major health emergency will be maintained through a $166.5 million funding commitment over two years in the 2008-09 Budget.

Page last updated: 13 May 2008

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13 May 2008

A national stockpile of vital drugs and equipment will be maintained through a $166.5 million funding commitment over two years in the 2008-09 Budget.

The Government is committed to protecting all Australians in case of a major health emergency. We face a continuing risk of health emergencies from natural and man-made disasters, terrorist attacks and naturally occurring pandemics.

At the core of Australia’s national health emergency preparedness is the National Medical Stockpile – a strategic reserve of vaccines, antibiotics, antiviral drugs, chemical and radiological antidotes and personal protective equipment essential to an emergency response.

The Government is committed to strengthening Australia’s health system capacity to respond to such events and will use the $166.5 million to replenish the National Medical Stockpile.

This stockpile is designed to enable immediate access during an emergency to items that would otherwise not be available in Australia in the necessary quantities.

The funding will provide for the replacement of expiring medicines and equipment in the stockpile, including maintaining holdings of antivirals at 8.7 million courses and holdings of H5N1 influenza vaccines at 1.2 million doses.

The Government will consider funding requirements for the stockpile for 2010-11 onwards in the 2010 11 Budget.

The Government has also provided $2.1 million in 2007-08 to replace 100,000 doses of H5N1 influenza vaccine in the National Medical Stockpile that are due to expire this financial year.


Media inquiries only: Sean Kelly – 0417 108 362
For all other inquiries please contact the Minister's office – 02 6277 7220