The Society of Hospital Pharmacists of Australia (SHPA) has welcomed new federal government legislation aimed at further mitigating the impact of drug shortages on Australians and ensuring that new and innovative drugs are accessible, available and affordable for all. Australians in the future.
The National Health Amendment (Enhancing the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme) Bill 2021 will allow new strategic agreements between the Commonwealth and the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association (GBMA) and Medicines Australia to begin on July 1 2022.
âOn behalf of hospital pharmacists who continue to devote valuable time to workaround solutions to drug shortages during a global pandemic, we welcome the new measures reflected in the bill to allow for several contained security of supply measures. in strategic agreements, âsaid the director general of SHPA. Kristin Michaels.
The COVID-19 pandemic has worsened Australia’s already vulnerable drug supply chains, due to Australia’s remoteness and lack of local drug production facilities, Michaels said. She added that snapshots of SHPA’s COVID-19 hospital pharmacy capacity revealed widespread shortages of key drugs needed to treat critically ill patients with COVID-19 requiring intensive care ventilation.
The SHPA said the bill would provide certainty over the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) pricing policy and ensure that the PBS grant supports a reliable supply of drugs in Australia over the next five years.
Michaels said the PBS changes will deliver significant savings to the federal government. “These savings will reinvest approximately $ 1.9 billion in PBS to support the planned list of more than $ 5 billion of new drugs and expanded patient access.”
“We welcome this bill, which, when complemented by the federal government’s $ 1.3 billion modern manufacturing initiative, will minimize and alleviate the prevalence of drug shortages and ease pressure on drug users. global supply chains, ensuring Australians continue to have rapid access to the latest and most effective medicines. available worldwide.