National Medicines Policy 2.0 – fit for a new healthcare landscape

There is a need to refresh Australia’s National Medicines Policy, according to an article in the latest edition of Australian Prescriber. Professors Andrew McLachlan and Parisa Aslani from the Sydney Pharmacy School at the University of Sydney comment on the directions a new policy could take. 

The National Medicines Policy was launched 20 years ago with the aim to improve health outcomes for Australians. Since then, there have been significant changes in treatments, healthcare systems, medicine subsidies, digital technologies, and the pharmaceutical industry. 

“There are some critical issues that need to be comprehensively addressed when planning National Medicines Policy 2.0,” says Prof McLachlan. 

  “Medication safety, cost and access to medicines are key considerations. Vulnerable people need to be part of a refreshed patient-centred focus in a new National Medicines Policy, including older frail people, indigenous Australians, migrants and refugees and those living with mental illness, disability or chronic ill health. 

“Digital health initiatives, such as electronic medication management and real-time prescription monitoring, offer new opportunities to improve the effectiveness and safety of healthcare delivery as well as to inform health policy and health-related decisions,” Prof McLachlan says.

Read the full Australian Prescriber article.


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Australian Prescriber is an independent peer-reviewed journal providing critical commentary on therapeutic topics for health professionals. It is published by NPS MedicineWise, an independent, not-for-profit organisation for quality use of medicines funded by the Australian Government Department of Health. Australian Prescriber is published every two months and is available online at