6.7 Consumer input
Patients are central to the quality use of medicines and vaccines. The PBAC is committed to understanding consumer perspectives, and integrating them into its consideration of medicines and vaccines.
Currently, consumers are able to provide their views about medicines or vaccines on each PBAC agenda via a web interface. This is under review, and improvements to gather consumer input in ways that will promote meaningful and useful contributions to the PBAC’s consideration of medicines are under development.
Consumer information helps the committee understand what consumers consider to be the main benefits and harms of the proposed medicine or vaccine. These may be different than those measured in the clinical trial evidence presented in the submission.
6.7.1 How to make consumer submissions to PBAC
The PBAC agenda is published on the PBS website 14 weeks before the PBAC meeting. The PBAC agenda is updated 9 weeks before the PBAC meeting to reflect lodgement of Early Re-entry or Early Resolution Pathway resubmissions.
Consumers are invited to make comments (electronic format) that are submitted directly to the department. There are eight weeks to make comments for most submissions, and three weeks for Early Re-entry or Early Resolution Pathway resubmissions. Any organisation or individual may make comments. The form is available on the PBS website.
Where consumers are unable to access the website, they should write a letter using the same format and post it to the department (refer to contact details in Appendix A).
6.7.2 How consumer information is managed
Consumer comments are provided to the PBAC’s consumer representative, who reviews and collates the comments for the PBAC agenda.
All comments received will be considered by the PBAC. Issues from individuals, with names removed, will be summarised for the applicant and the PBAC. The complete summary of comments from groups or organisations will be provided to the PBAC and the applicant.
6.7.3 How the PBAC uses consumer information
The PBAC considers the consumer comments when considering the relevant agenda item. These are considered at the same time as other technical papers in consideration of the request for listing or amending the listing. The consumer representative highlights consumer issues for each agenda item for the committee’s consideration during the discussion of the item at the PBAC.
Consumer comments are summarised in the PBAC Minutes and noted in the Public Summary Document for the submission.