2. Increased access to palliative medicines in the community

This page describes how the Australian Government, under the National Palliative Care Program, is supporting better access to palliative medicines in the community.

Page last updated: 27 August 2013

Increased access to medicines

Many people who want to receive palliative care at home are unable to afford the medicines they need. Some medicines that can be used in palliative care for pain management and symptom relief are not readily available to those undergoing palliative care at home.

The use of medicines to help maintain quality of life during the terminal phase of a person’s life is an important aspect of palliative care that is being addressed under the National Palliative Care Program. One of the four key goals of the Program is to improve access to palliative care medicines in the community.

The focus of this work centres on supporting access to and quality use of appropriate medicines when people are being cared for at home by making these medicines more accessible in the community setting through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS).

Key components of this work are The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative.

The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative

The Palliative Care Clinical Studies Collaborative (PaCCSC) is a group of palliative care units throughout Australia which has been established to gather the evidence required to support further PBS listings. PaCCSC is conducting scientific research into the safety and efficacy of a number of medicines. This research may support the registration of some medicines used in palliative care in the Australian Register of Therapeutic Goods, and subsequently, their listing on the PBS.

How to search for Palliative Care Medicines at PBS on-line

The PBS on-line site lists all medicines on the PBS. To search for updates to the PBS schedule, go to the PBS website. All medicines on the PBS website with a palliative indication listing are identified with a purple square upper case P icon.

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