FUNDING RARE DISEASE THERAPIES IN AUSTRALIA

ENSURING EQUITABLE ACCESS TO HEALTH CARE FOR ALL AUSTRALIANS

 

Despite Australia having a world leading health system, patients suffering from rare diseases are missing out on the standard of treatment other Australians take for granted. This report prepared by Equity Economics for The McKell Institute and Medicines Australia considers the reforms necessary to improve funding and access to rare disease therapies. 

In the last 4 years only two new therapies have been approved under Australia’s current program for rare disease therapies. This is despite ongoing innovation and developments in rare disease therapies. Australians are not only being denied access to new therapies funded overseas, even when they are provided, they are having to wait much longer. Analysis contained in the report finds that Australians are generally waiting from 2 to 4 years longer for access to rare disease therapies available in comparable countries like the United Kingdom, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands.2 Some medications remain unavailable 8 years after becoming available overseas. Many rare disease therapies available overseas are unlikely to be available in Australia without policy reform.

Read the full report here.