Access to Medicines Working Group – August 2023

Page last updated: 7 March 2024

The Access to Medicines Working Group (AMWG) met face-to-face on 31 August 2023. Attendees included representatives from Medicines Australia, the pharmaceutical industry and the Department of Health and Aged Care (the Department).

Members discussed the Strategic Agreement between Medicines Australia and the Commonwealth. A considerable amount of work is being done and many of the clauses are progressing well.

The Enhanced Consumer Engagement Process is progressing well, with the consumer-led co-design committee close to being established, including representatives from government, industry and consumers. They will complete their work by the end of 2023.

Members discussed the progress of the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) Review and the commitment to transparency, including the importance of timely and informative agendas and communiques being published.

Members discussed the work being done to progress a pilot for a new ‘exchange of information’ process, with the aim of increasing efficiency of communication between evaluators and sponsors. The new process will be co-designed by the Department and industry with additional parties being consulted as required.

Members discussed draft Terms of Reference (ToR) for a new AMWG sub-group on Metrics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), with minor amendments to the ToR to be finalised out-of-session to ensure alignment with the Agreement. The first meeting is expected to be held in Q1 of 2024. The sub-group will design and agree on meaningful KPIs to ensure the successful implementation of the Agreement for patients, industry and Government.

Members also discussed planning for the next Horizon Scanning Forum (to be held in Q1 of 2024 and convened by Medicines Australia), the medicines repurposing program being undertaken by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) and Technology Assessment and Access Division (TAAD), on which there will be further consultation, and the implementation of the new Maximum Dispensed Quantity policy.

The AMWG members will reconvene at the next meeting which is expected to be held in 7 March 2024.