Review of the Life Saving Drugs Program (LSDP)

Page last updated: 28 January 2018

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Release of the Life Saving Drugs Program Review Report

The Minister is pleased to announce the release of the LSDP Review report and the Government response to the Review.

The Minister’s press release  is available on the Minister’s web page.

Frequently Asked Questions (PDF 25KB) - (Word 26KB) have been prepared on the Government response.


On 9 April 2014, the Minister for Health, the Hon Peter Dutton MP, announced that the Post-market Review of the Life Saving Drugs Program (LSDP Review) would proceed.

The LSDP Review is an opportunity to review the current program in order to ensure that Australians with very rare conditions continue to have subsidised access to much-needed, expensive medicines.

The Review examines important issues such as access and equity, value for money and the future administration of the program.

During the LSDP Review, patients currently treated through this program will continue to receive subsidised access to treatment, new patients can continue to apply for access to treatment and applications for new medicines seeking LSDP listing will continue to be considered.

Terms of Reference

  • Review the clinical effectiveness and safety of medicines currently subsidised through the LSDP.
  • Review emerging clinical treatments and diseases, including those that identify sub-groups by molecular target, which could potentially seek subsidisation through the LSDP in the future.
  • Conduct an international comparison of subsidisation of drugs for rare diseases and the definitions for a rare/ultra-rare disease.
  • Compare the subsidisation and equity principles of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the LSDP.
  • Assess the value for money of the medicines subsidised on the LSDP by evaluating the benefit of each drug’s treatment outcomes, including in terms of quality of life achieved through the program, and their cost.  
  • Review the administration of the LSDP, including the Guidelines with which the program is administered for each condition, and assess alternative administration systems.
  • Establish a framework for data collection on rare diseases in Australia and assess how this could function internationally.

Reference Group Membership

Professor Andrew Wilson (Chair)
Professor David Sillence – Clinical Expert
Professor David Isaacs – Clinical Expert
Professor Anne Tonkin – Clinical Expert
Professor Jane Hall – Health Economist
Professor Paul Komesaroff – Medical Ethicist
Mrs Lesley Murphy – Consumer Representative
Ms Ainslie Cahill – Consumer Representative 

Public Submissions addressing the Terms of Reference

The public submission process closed at 5pm Monday, 10 November 2014.

Submissions received by the Department are available on the Public consultation page.

Stakeholder Forum

Public consultation on the LSDP Issues paper may be in lieu of a stakeholder forum.

Public Submissions addressing the Issues Paper

The submissions process closed 5pm Monday 18 May 2015.

Submissions received by the Department will be made public on the Public consultation page unless requested otherwise.

LSDP Review: Technical Assessment Report

The Department commissioned the University of Adelaide to develop a Report addressing Terms of Reference 1, 2, 3, 5 and 7 of the Review on drugs currently included on the LSDP to inform the LSDP reference group. The Report is available below.

Further Information

Further information regarding the LSDP is available from the Department of Health website.

Please direct queries to LSDP. All media enquiries should be addressed to the News team.