Drug Utilisation Sub Committee (DUSC)

Page last updated: 10 May 2024

Drug Utilisation Sub Committee (DUSC) of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) assesses estimates on projected usage and financial cost for medicines.

It also collects and analyses data on actual use (including in comparison with different countries), and provides advice to PBAC.

DUSC contact details can be found in PBS Contacts

The DUSC Outcome Statements provide a high level summary of the topics discussed at each DUSC meeting.  This includes summarised results and DUSC’s views on the utilisation analyses of PBS medicines and therapeutic areas (multiple medicines in a treatment area) considered at that meeting.  The Outcome Statement also provides notice of the PBS medicines and therapeutic areas selected for consideration at future DUSC meetings.

The DUSC Utilisation Analysis Public Release Documents provide public access to the DUSC utilisation analysis reports.  The DUSC considers the reports will assist stakeholders including consumers, health professionals, researchers and pharmaceutical sponsors, to better understand how PBS medicines are currently being used, the methods DUSC employs to analyse utilisation of PBS medicines and the PBS data available for these analyses.  The reports may also outline how the current utilisation of PBS medicines compares with the use as recommended by the PBAC.

The DUSC considers the publication of the DUSC Outcome Statements and Utilisation Analysis Public Release Documents provide greater transparency of the working of the DUSC and the utilisation of PBS medicines.  The DUSC considers that the publications uphold the National Medicines Policy, which states that consumers and health practitioners should be encouraged to understand the costs, benefits and risks of medicines.

Current Membership

Professor Christopher Etherton-Beer (Chair) is a professor of Geriatric Medicine at the University of Western Australia and a Consultant Physician of Geriatric Medicine at the Royal Perth Hospital. He is also a member of the PBAC.

Dr Lauren J Brown is an oncologist, working as a clinical research fellow at Westmead and Blacktown Hospitals.

Ms Natalie Clark Reynolds is a consumer representative. She has been a Community Representative on Bellberry Ltd.’s human research ethics committee since 2009 and is a member of the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS) research ethics committee.

Dr David Liew is a rheumatologist and clinical pharmacologist at Austin Health, Melbourne.

Dr Andrew Parsonson is an oncologist and clinical research fellow at the Nepean Cancer Centre. He is a representative of the Clinical Oncology Society of Australia and a member of the EviQ Oncological Emergencies Content Review Committee.

Professor Sallie Pearson is a research academic at the Centre for Big Data Research in Health at the University of New South Wales.

A/Professor Nicole Pratt is Deputy Director of the Quality Use of Medicines and Pharmacy Research Centre, University of South Australia.  Her expertise is in biostatistics, pharmacoepidemiology, and analysis of large linked health care datasets.

Professor Libby Roughead is a research professor with expertise in pharmacy, pharmacoepidemiology and quality use of medicines at the Sansom Institute, School of Pharmacy and Medical Sciences, University of South Australia.

Professor Debra Rowett is a clinical pharmacist and Director of the Drug and Therapeutics Information Service at the Repatriation General Hospital, South Australia.

Dr Rashmi Sharma is a practising general practitioner and Practice Principal of a large multidisciplinary teaching practice in Canberra.  She holds an Adjunct Associate Professor title at the ANU Medical School. She is also a medical educator and contributes to a number of Commonwealth and local committees related to health. 

Mr Mike Stephens is a consultant pharmacist and Director of Medicines Policy and Programs at the National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation, Canberra.

Professor Robyn Ward AM is the chair of the PBAC and an academic leader, cancer researcher and medical oncologist. As the former Chair of Medical Services Advisory Committee (MSAC) and a previous member of PBAC, she has extensive experience in health technology assessment. Professor Ward is the Executive Dean of the Faculty of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Sydney. Until 2023 she served on the Council and Executive of the Australian Academy of Health and Medical Sciences. In 2013, Professor Ward was awarded Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for significant service to medical research and patient care in the field of oncology.

Ms Jo Watson is the Deputy Chair of the PBAC. She is also the Chair of the Health Technology Assessment Consumer Consultative Committee, Deputy Chair of the Consumers Health Forum, and a long standing consumer nominee and advocate.

Ms Heather Wrightman is the industry member nominated by Medicines Australia. She is also the industry member of the PBAC Economics Sub-Committee.