The Albanese Government has today tabled its response to an inquiry considering how to give Australian patients timely access to new drugs and novel medical technologies.
The New Frontier – Delivering Better Health for all Australians report outlines a range of ways to streamline approval processes for the latest advances in medical science.
The report is a valuable contribution to the Government’s reform agenda to ensure new medicines and technologies are approved and subsidised safely and effectively to improve diagnosis, treatment, management and outcomes.
Considerable work is already under way on activities that deliver on the inquiry recommendations, including:
- introducing a medicine repurposing program to improve patient access by helping sponsors expand the approved uses of their medicines
- ongoing reform of the Prescribed List of Medical Devices and Human Tissue Products to improve the affordability of private health insurance
- expanding Australian newborn bloodspot screening programs and standardising a national list of the conditions screened
- consulting on ways to ensure the patient voice is heard across health technology assessment (HTA) processes
- progress towards the establishment of Genomics Australia
- establishing the Health Technology and Genomics Collaboration, an intergovernmental forum to integrate genomics and other biotechnologies into the national healthcare system
- investing $66 million through the Medical Research Future Fund 2022 Genomics Health Futures grant opportunity for 25 genomics medicine research projects, and
- appointing Professor Ian Chubb to lead key reforms as Chair of the Inter-Governmental Policy Reform Group, which will supply policy and operational oversight of the National One Stop Shop for health and medical research.
Other recommendations are being addressed through the HTA Policy and Methods Review. This is well advanced and will present a comprehensive set of recommendations to Government following further public consultation.
Read the Government’s response to The New Frontier Inquiry report here.
Quotes attributable to Minister Butler:
“The New Frontier report will help guide the streamlined and safe adoption of groundbreaking new technologies and treatments that can deliver better outcomes – and even cures – to Australians.
“The House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health and Aged Care has delivered a thorough and considered report.
“I thank the current and former Chairs – Dr Mike Freelander and Trent Zimmerman – who worked in a constructive, bipartisan way on delivering this report.
“Thanks also to the families, researchers, health professionals, industry and peak organisations that took part.”