Access to the Medicines Working Group - October 2020

Page last updated: 9 December 2020

The Access to Medicines Working Group (AMWG) met via teleconference on 29 October 2020. Attendees included representatives from Medicines Australia (MA), the pharmaceutical industry and the Department of Health (the department).

Members noted since the last AMWG meeting in May 2020, the biosimilar market share continues to steadily increase. 

Government approval to implement Stage 2 PBS process improvements from 1 January 2021 was provided in the 2020-21 Budget. Members noted that the department is currently updating the Procedure guidance for listing medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and 2020-21 Cost Recovery Implementation Statement (CRIS) following consultation feedback. Final documents are expected to be available on the PBS website in late-November 2020.

Members agreed the approach, reporting timeline and full set of Stage 2 metrics for collection from January 2021, pending endorsement by the Joint Oversight Committee (JOC) at the November meeting. The AMWG Streamlined Pathways Subgroup will continue to develop qualitative themes for particular metrics and provide to the AMWG for agreement. The first publication of Stage 2 metrics will be in August 2022 to permit 12 months of implementation to have occurred. The AMWG also agreed to the publication of an additional Stage I ‘time to listing’ metric which includes all pricing applications, not just those that lodge at the earliest opportunity to understand overall listing timeframes but retaining the key metric. This metric will be published on the PBS website, if endorsed by the JOC at their November meeting,

Members agreed to a review of cost recovery arrangements at least 12 months after implementation of Stage 2 PBS process improvements.

Members also discussed a comparator selection education webinar possibly being held before the next AMWG meeting.

The AMWG subgroups will continue to progress key priorities of the AMWG as outlined within the Strategic Agreement. The next AMWG meeting will be held in April/May 2021.

PDF version of Access to Medicines Working Group Communique – 29 October 2020 meeting (PDF 357KB )