The Access to Medicines Working Group (AMWG) met for the second time on 9 August 2007. Consistent with its role to provide a forum for oversight and coordination of activities involving the Department of Health and Ageing and Medicines Australia, the AMWG reviewed the range of ways in which the parties are working together to enhance the operation of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).
The meeting began to explore the capacity to further streamline and coordinate processes to reduce the time it takes to list new medicines on the PBS, and discussed the possible impacts on the listing process of statutory price reductions from August 2008 for medicines on the new F2 formulary. The AMWG appreciates that consideration of these issues cannot progress further without the close involvement of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the Therapeutic Goods Administration and will begin discussions with these bodies at the earliest opportunity.
The AMWG recognises that other PBS stakeholders also have an interest in these and other matters covered by the AMWG terms of reference. The Co-Chairs, David Learmonth from the Department and Will Delaat from Medicines Australia, intend to meet with consumer representatives and the generic medicines industry as soon as possible to discuss the AMWG’s work plan and to outline opportunities for stakeholders to be involved – where relevant – in informing future discussions.
The Department and Medicines Australia look forward to continuing these discussions to enhance their working relationship and explore important issues for the PBS in collaboration with other stakeholders.
Department of Health and Ageing