Statement on the 2022 Federal Budget

It was announced in the Federal budget last week that NPS MedicineWise’s core role as the national steward for Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) will be transferring to the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care (ACSQHC).

From January 1, 2023,

  • A number of QUM functions currently delivered by NPS MedicineWise will be transferred to ACSQHC.
  • NPS MedicineWise will no longer receive any uncontested funding from the Department of Health to support the Quality Use of Medicines.

Since NPS MedicineWise was created in 1998, through our education programs and services, we have delivered QUM improvements benefiting Australians where the need is greatest. NPS MedicineWise has demonstrated over $1.1 billion in direct savings for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS). More importantly, these programs have resulted in demonstrable improvements in patient care and health outcomes for Australians.

The defunding of an independent agency that has the singular focus on QUM risks a dilution of focus on QUM. We are disappointed and concerned with what this means for Australia at a time when quality and safe use of medicines is listed as a National Health Priority.

The NPS MedicineWise model of a national implementation body at arm’s length from government remains as important today as it was 24 years ago. Our track record demonstrates the success of this approach to achieving national policy objectives, improved prescribing and health outcomes, consumers as partners in their healthcare, and PBS and MBS sustainability.

NPS MedicineWise is having ongoing discussions with the Australian Government Department of Health to better understand the decision and implications for the organisation.