Streamlined approvals to improve access to lifesaving medicines | Leukaemia Foundation

Streamlined approvals to improve access to lifesaving medicines

Tuesday, 25 October 2016


The Leukaemia Foundation welcomes the Australian Government’s commitment to new reforms to improve the way medicines are accessed for use in Australia.

By helping to streamline access to medicines and medical devices including access to novel and life-saving therapies, the reforms aim to strike a balance by removing unnecessary red tape for industry while maintaining the safety of therapeutic goods in Australia.

The reform supports consumer choice and creates greater flexibility in the industry.

A number of reforms recommended by the Medicines and Medical Devices Review address key recommendations the Leukaemia Foundation has made in multiple submissions to the Australian Government. These highlight the impact of drug availability for people with blood cancer and their families.

In June, the Leukaemia Foundation and Myeloma Australia presented to a parliamentary breakfast the concerns and challenges of 675 Leukaemia Foundation survey participants in trying to access lifesaving therapies for their blood cancer. The result was a bipartisan commitment of parliamentarians to improve access to clinical trials in Australia.

The Leukaemia Foundation’s CEO Mr Bill Petch welcomed the parliamentary commitment saying at the time ‘more needs to be done’ and he says the new reforms announced by the Review are encouraging.

“Our research indicates that more than 40 percent of Australians with blood cancers have tried to access new medicines that are not subsidised in Australia with the vast majority unsuccessful in their attempts,” said Mr Petch.

“These new reforms present opportunities to improve the current system and the people who are most affected.”

The Leukaemia Foundation welcomes the strategic and systems-based approach the Australian Government will take in implementing the recommendations over the next three years.

“Any improvements to streamline regulatory processes are always welcome,” said Mr Petch.

“Especially when it improves access to new medicines for people with blood cancer, enabling these people to survive longer and enjoy a better quality of life.”

The reforms will ensure that the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) retains and grows its international reputation for ensuring medicines in Australia meet high standards of quality, safety and efficacy.

Learn more about the Australian Government Response to the review of Review of Medicines and Medical Devices Regulation.

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