Weak points in supply chains must be targeted

5 Feb 2021

The COVID crisis has shown up weak points in Australian supply chains for medicines and the need for local manufacturing capability, Dr Moy said this week during a wide-ranging panel discussion on Radio National’s Life Matters program.

Dr Moy said Australia had managed reasonably well throughout the pandemic, but it is clear that better intelligence is needed on the monitoring side to get ahead of potential shortages.

“You don’t need to go out panicking and hoarding medicines, but sometimes it’s hard for a GP to find an alternative medicine,” Dr Moy said.

“Sometimes what happens is we have to work with the pharmacist to ring overseas and find an import at a high cost, or sometimes we have to compound the medicine, which is outside the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and the patient has to pay.

“I’m aware that a business case is being considered for funding by the Government for development of manufacturing in Australia by the CSIRO.

“Medicine is such a critical thing and as a country, being totally reliant in the sea, just bobbling along, has been exposed by COVID.”