The AMA has published its response to the National Medicines Policy (NMP) Consultation Draft outlining broad support for the objectives of the NMP, while noting concerns that need to be addressed before the policy is finalised. In particular, the lack of meaningful governance and reporting mechanisms mean this policy is not yet ready and will not provide for needed reforms.
Ideally, the NMP should be used as a vehicle to pursue important policy reforms, such as ensuring that future community pharmacy agreements meet the principles and pillars of the new NMP, as the current agreement is far from meeting them.
Other key recommendations included in the submission include reinstating a national medicines advisory body to ensure the NMP remains relevant, and to monitor NMP policies and programs, and introducing new objectives that recognises how Australia’s broader health environment influences medicines use in Australia. The AMA also calls for dedicated strategies to mitigate against the risk of medicine shortages.
The AMA’s response follows a submission to the NMP Review in November 2021. The draft NMP subsequently included some of the AMA’s initial recommendations, including the integration of a person-centred approach into the NMP, and an increased focus on health literacy.
The AMA supports calls to complete this policy review after the upcoming Federal Election to ensure it is not rushed.