A collaborative assessment of access to cancer medicines in Australia

Cancer Pharmaceuticals Medicine Australia

Cancer is a major health priority for the community and government.

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has reported that one in two men will get cancer by the age of 85 years, and this number is one in three for women. Despite our world leading survival rates, cancer represents the largest disease burden for Australian communities, followed by cardiovascular disease.

As medical technologies have advanced, Australian communities have seen an increasing precision and reduced toxicity in cancer treatments, with improving gains in overall survival (OS) and quality of life (QOL). In the last 20 years, a number of innovative medicines have been made available to Australians with cancer. In the next decade, the number of innovative medicines for cancer is likely to significantly increase, based on an assessment of the approximately 800 cancer medicines currently in industry research pipelines. Traditional models for medicines evaluation are evolving in response to technological change to ensure continued timely and equitable access to quality care.

Medicines Australia’s Oncology Industry Taskforce (OIT) engaged Deloitte Access Economics to provide a report, which reviewed the progress since the release of its 2013 report Access to Cancer Medicines in Australia. This review identifies factors that influence policy change, explores international policy developments, and calls out potential opportunities for further reform. The review draws together Australian and international research with findings from more than 30 interviews, to provide practical and prioritised considerations for the future public policy approach to cancer medicines.

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