Co-design of an Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process for health technology assessment

This process is an opportunity to increase the patient and consumer voice earlier as part of health technology assessment (HTA). It will inform how we assess submissions for the reimbursement of innovative medicines and consideration by the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC).

About the process

The co-design of an Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process aims to capture the perspectives of consumers and patients in the HTA process. This will help the PBAC and other independent HTA advisory bodies to understand issues coming from new technologies, innovations and associated implications for consumers at an early stage.

Strategic agreement with the medicines industry

The Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process is one of the key commitments in the 2022–2027 Strategic Agreement (clause 6.3.2).

The agreement includes commitments to several reforms and reform processes which ensure:

  • that Australians can access breakthrough new medicines as early as possible
  • the delivery of a strong and uninterrupted supply of the medicines Australians use every day.

Why it is important

Consumer and patient perspectives are important when determining whether access to a new medicine should be subsidised. This is particularly important if a new medicine is a breakthrough technology that promises to address an otherwise high unmet clinical need.

An Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process will help to inform patients in these circumstances. It will also ensure that their voices are captured in submissions considered by the PBAC.

Goals

The co-design of the process will look at how to capture consumer and patient perspectives earlier in the medicines listing process. It will focus on:  

  • access to earlier information about new health technologies 
  • improving understanding of consumer issues before a medicine is listed. 

Outcomes from the co-design work will be developed into a report including recommendations and implementation strategies for an Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process. It will also advise on the processes for health technology assessments relevant to PBAC. The Minister for Health and Aged Care will then review these recommendations. 

Who we work with

A consumer-led proposal for the co-design process is guiding this work. To co-design the process, we will work with:

  • consumers 
  • the medicines industry 
  • other stakeholders (such as clinicians and academics).  

Following an Expression of interest process for consumer representatives, we created a Co-design Working Group to progress this work. The group is coordinating an open consultation as part of the co-design process.

Have your say

The Co-design Working Group believes that it is important to work transparently and in broad collaboration with:  

  • consumers 
  • the medicines industry 
  • us and other relevant departments 
  • the related HTA sector.  

As a result, the group scheduled a consultation with stakeholders to progress the co-design work.  

The consultation seeks feedback on the proposed recommendations for consumer engagement relevant to the health technology pathway. The group developed these recommendations during their co-design work. 

Feedback from the consultation will be analysed and reported back to the Co-design Working Group. This will inform their work as they refine the proposed recommendations and develop a report. This will include final recommendations and implementation strategies for an Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process. The Minister for Health and Aged Care will then consider the recommendations. 

The consultation will be accessed online. It opens on 1 March 2024 and closes at 11:59PM on 2 April 2024 (AEDT).   

It is open to anyone or representatives from organisations interested in providing feedback to support this co-design project. You must be aged 18 years and over to complete the online consultation. 

To participate in the consultation, you must review the proposed recommendations first. You can find them in the consultation document. The consultation document also includes information on how to access the online consultation.

Participate in the consultation

Learn more

If you are unsure how medicines and medical services and products become funded, find out more by watching the introduction presentation.

Contact

HTA Co-design Working Group Secretariat

Contact the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Co-design Working Group for more information about the co-design of an Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process.
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