Medicine subsidies to be fast-tracked as Coalition honours promise

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Source: Herald Sun

THE subsidy of some high-cost medicines will be fast-tracked after Health Minister Peter Dutton won the power to approve them more quickly.

Cancer drugs fast tracked by Coalition - Oncology News AustraliaPreviously sick patients, some with a terminal illness, had to wait up to six months – sometimes over 18 months – for the cabinet to approve a subsidy for a new medicine.

Now the Health Minister will be able to sidestep cabinet and approve subsidies for any medicine costing less than $20 million a year.

The change honours a Coalition election promise to streamline approvals for medicine subsidies and was welcomed by the pharmaceutical industry.

“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. ” he said.

“This improvement in the process should reduce the time for listing for some medicines on the PBS,” Medicines Australia chief Brendan Shaw said.

“This is good news for companies who’ll benefit from greater predictability, good news for government who’ll have more efficient processes, and, ultimately, good news for patients who’ll get access to new medicines sooner,” he said…READ MORE


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