Australians to access more affordable medicines sooner

The Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, has announced that the Government has honoured its election commitment to make more affordable medicines available sooner for Australians.

Page last updated: 30 October 2013

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30 October 2013

The Federal Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton, announced today that the Coalition Government has honoured its election commitment to make more affordable medicines available sooner for Australians.

"The Coalition Government will fast-track approvals of medicines that have received a positive recommendation for funding by the independent Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee," Mr Dutton said.

The new process will allow the Minister for Health to approve medicines that would cost the government $20 million or less to subsidise, in each of the first four years.

“The Coalition Government is streamlining approvals processes to improve access for patients and give business more certainty."

In 2001 the Howard Government established a $10 million threshold to streamline approvals for new medicines.

“In a desperate attempt to find savings the former Labor government abandoned this successful initiative, holding up approval of many drugs to the detriment of sick Australians,” Mr Dutton said.

"The Coalition Government has not only restored, but increased the threshold which will mean that more patients can access new and improved medicines sooner and at an affordable price.”

This announcement follows the Coalition Government’s approval earlier this week for funding of 50 new and amended medicines and technologies to treat cancer, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and a range of other debilitating diseases.

Media contact: Kay McNiece, Minister Dutton’s Office, 0412 132585

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