Whilst the budget includes some modest spending initiatives
relevant to the pharmaceuticals and life sciences industries, it
proposes no major reforms – either positive or negative -
so far as these industries are concerned.
The Innovation programs appear to have been left intact, and the
R&D tax concession also appears not to have been disturbed.
There are a number of significant initiatives in respect of
mental health, aged care and hospital infrastructure, all of which
might have an indirect flow on to the sector. In respect of the
sort of secondary areas, the following are highlighted:
The government is providing an undisclosed sum to assist the
Department of Health and Ageing recover from pharmaceutical
companies compensation related to losses incurred by the government
as a result of delays in the listing of generic forms of medicines
on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS). This
provides funding to give life to the certification provisions
inserted in the Therapeutic Goods Act, which can result in
significant payments by originator companies, arising from attempts
to defend the patented status of their products.
The government will provide $1.4 million over four years to
strengthen the therapeutic industry's codes of conduct for the
promotion of therapeutic goods. This is designed to increase the
effectiveness of self-regulated codes of conduct through:
development of a standardised framework of high level principles;
improving access to information, education and training; and
enhancing complaints reporting and handling processes. This might
be expected to lead to greater harmonisation amongst relevant
codes, and also raise the bar in quite a number of respects.
Funding of an undisclosed amount is being provided to progress
the establishment of the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products
Agency. This includes establishing a transition agency to
facilitate bilateral cooperation and joint planning and
Further funding is dedicated to delivering the
e–Health agenda, including $161.6 million to operate the
Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) system.
$49.3 million is to be provided over two years to replenish
elements of the National Medical Stockpile to ensure medications
and medical equipment are available for use in response to a health
emergency or disaster.
Further funding is being provided to expand the National Bowel
Cancer Screening Program.
The government will provide $3.9 million over four years to
implement initiatives responding to recommendations from the Review
of Food Labelling Law and Policy. These initiatives support the
Government's commitment to refocus the health system towards
prevention, including by developing a comprehensive national
nutrition policy. This also includes funding for awareness and
education activities, consumer and economic research activities,
and the development and implementation of an interpretative
front-of-pack labelling system. These initiatives might provide
greater clarity around the regulatory dividing lines between foods
and therapeutic goods, a topic that might well vex those seeking to
implement the Australia New Zealand Therapeutic Products
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guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
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What happens if a patient, particularly a mental health patient,.
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