On 7 February 2013 the Senate referred the following matter to the Senate Community Affairs Committee for inquiry and report:
(a) the supply of chemotherapy drugs such as Docetaxel, particularly in relation to:
(i) patient access to treatment,
(ii) cost to pharmacists and suppliers, and
(iii) cost to the private and public hospital systems;
(b) any long-term sustainable funding models for the supply of chemotherapy drugs, including Docetaxel; and (c) any related matters.
The reporting date for the inquiry was set by the Senate for 22 April 2013.
The committee presented an interim report on that date, indicating that it intended to present its final report by 10 May 2013.
This is the final report. It recommends that the government and industry parties, through the review, continue the examination of issues in chemotherapy drug pricing to ensure that existing funds under the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement as already agreed are appropriately directed to reflect the costs and benefits of the supply of chemotherapy drugs, and to ensure the ongoing supply of these drugs across all services, particularly in rural and regional areas.
This report is comprised of 3 Chapters. Chapter 2 provides the background to the inquiry, and an overview of arguments and evidence raised in submissions concerning the supply of cancer drugs such as Docetaxel. Chapter 3 discusses the concerns of witnesses, and the negotiations for the Fifth Community Pharmacy Agreement and implications for the appropriate source of additional funding for the supply of chemotherapy drugs.