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New report aims to broaden understanding of how new medicines are funded in Australia

GlaxoSmithKline Australia (GSK) and ViiV Healthcare (ViiV) have launched a new report as part of an initiative to raise understanding of the medicines development and funding processes in Australia. As the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) celebrates its 75-year anniversary, there is more scrutiny than ever on the system the Australian Federal Government uses to provide universal access to medicines and vaccines, and how the budget is spent.

Recognising many Australians are unaware of the processes involved in bringing new medicines to Australia, GSK and ViiV aim to “pull back the curtain” on the PBS and encourage greater engagement from all members of the community.

Speaking about the initiative, Anne Belcher, VP and General Manager of GSK Pharmaceuticals Australia said, “At GSK and ViiV we want all Australians who need them to be able to benefit from the latest medical advances. However, we understand the conflicting pressures on government budgets and we know that, to maintain universal access, the healthcare system must evolve to continue to deliver as the population and environment change and medical innovation continues.”

Michael Grant, Country Manager, ViiV Healthcare added, “By helping people understand the system better, we hope more Australians will engage in discussions about the future of the PBS, and the broader health system, to make sure the PBS of the future continues to meet the needs of society.”

Alongside the report ‘The PBS in Australia – an explainer on systemcomponents’, GSK will run a series of activities with patient groups, political stakeholders and community leaders to raise awareness. The report will be launched in collaboration with the BioMelbourne Network at an event in Melbourne on Friday 16 February. The event panel will debate the successes and tensions within the current system and the areas where it may need to evolve to continue to meet the demands of the Australian population.

Krystal Evans, CEO of BioMelbourne Network said, “We will need resilient and flexible healthcare systems to support ongoing patient access to innovations in healthcare. Collaboration will be essential to achieving this. It is admirable that GSK has taken this initiative forward, bringing views from across the healthcare system, with the ultimate aim to increase understanding and engagement from people who depend on access to medicines – the people who are most impacted by PBS decisions.”

Watch the video and download the report from our website.

About BioMelbourne Network

BioMelbourne Network is a not-for-profit membership association for organisations engaged in biotechnology, medical technology, pharmaceuticals and health innovation in the State of Victoria.

Playing a critical role in connecting clinicians, researchers, finance and industry, BioMelbourne Network supports and promotes the growth of the sector’s infrastructure and facilitates the development and commercialisation of new drugs, devices, diagnostics and digital health technologies in Melbourne.