AusBiotech to nominate PBAC member


AusBiotech will be one of three industry organisations asked to nominate a member of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee.

The PBAC is an independent committee of experts that provides advice to the Government on drugs that should be listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The industry nomination was one of a raft of measures announced as part of the recently legislated PBS Access and Sustainability Package.

Publication yesterday of the regulations giving effect to the package did not deliver any real surprises. Their publication means the Department of Health is expected to shortly call for nominations from industry for a PBAC member.

As previously reported by BiotechDispatch, in addition to AusBiotech, industry nominations will be sought from Medicines Australia and the Generic and Biosimilar Medicines Association.

Health Minister Sussan Ley has the option of appointing a member nominated by industry, but can choose not to.

BiotechDispatch understands some discussion between the groups on potential nominations has already taken place.

One of the key decisions is whether they nominate a technical expert who could act as a contributing member to the PBAC, in the role of a 'discussant', or someone with deep industry knowledge who would endeavour to provide its perspective on submissions.

It is understood that nominating a technical expert with industry experience is preferred but somewhat problematic because most fitting the criteria work for or with companies, creating potential conflicts for their role on the PBAC.

An 'industry expert' could be an ex-managing director or executive, in the mould of former PBAC member Pat Clear, who was appointed to the Committee by Howard Government Health Minister Dr Michael Wooldridge.