Terms of reference

Inquiry into Consumer Access to Pharmaceutical Benefits

Terms of reference

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On 25 November 2009 the Senate referred the following matter to the Community Affairs References Committee for inquiry and report by 26 August 2010:

Consumer access to pharmaceutical benefits and the creation of new therapeutic groups through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), including:

  1. the impact of new therapeutic groups on consumer access to existing PBS drugs, vaccines and future drugs, particularly high cost drugs;
  2. the criteria and clinical evidence used to qualify drugs as interchangeable at a patient level;
  3. the effect of new therapeutic groups on the number and size of patient contributions;
  4. consultation undertaken in the development of new therapeutic groups;
  5. the impact of new therapeutic groups on the classification of medicines in F1 and F2 formularies;
  6. the delay to price reductions associated with the price disclosure provisions due to take effect on 1 August 2009 and the reasons for the delay;
  7. the process and timing of consideration by Cabinet of high cost drugs and vaccines; and
  8. any other related matters.

The Committee is seeking written submissions from interested individuals and organisations preferably sent electronically by email to community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au as an attached PDF or Word format document. The email must include full postal address and contact details.

Alternatively, written submissions may be sent to:

Committee Secretary
Senate Community Affairs References Committee
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Closing date for the receipt of submissions is 31 March 2010.

Submissions become Committee documents and are made public only after a decision by the Committee. Publication of submissions includes loading them onto the internet and their being available to other interested parties including the media. Persons making submissions must not release them without the approval of the Committee. Submissions are covered by parliamentary privilege but the unauthorised release of them is not protected.

Information relating to Senate Committee inquiries, including notes to assist in the preparation of submissions for a Committee, can be located on the internet at https://www.aph.gov.au/senate/committee/wit_sub/index.htm

For further details please contact the Committee Secretariat by phone: (02) 6277 3515, fax: (02) 6277 5829 or email to community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au

Enquiries from hearing and speech impaired people should be directed to Parliament House TTY number 02 6277 7799. Adobe also provides tools at http://access.adobe.com/ for the blind and visually impaired to access PDF documents. If you require any special arrangements to enable you to participate in the Committee's inquiry, please contact the Secretariat.

For further information, contact:

Committee Secretary
Senate Standing Committees on Community Affairs
PO Box 6100
Parliament House
Canberra ACT 2600

Phone: +61 2 6277 3515
Fax: +61 2 6277 5829
Email: community.affairs.sen@aph.gov.au