Improving health and spending money wisely: evaluating medicines and vaccines for the Australian Government

Impact: Quality of life impacts, Economic impacts, Public policy impacts

Description of impact

The Australian Government considers effectiveness and cost-effectiveness when deciding which new medicines and vaccines to fund and at what price. In 2016, MUCHE won a competitive tender to become an independent evaluator of submissions for medicines and vaccines. Since then, we have evaluated 27 medicines and vaccines. We work to tight deadlines, and each evaluation lasts about 8 weeks plus subsequent committee meetings. Our confidential reports, typically 100-150 pages, involve a review and analysis of complex clinical and economic data. Our reports are central to helping the Government decide which treatments to fund.
Our team is highly collaborative and includes health economists, medical practitioners and statistical experts across Macquarie University. We have been invited to present at conferences and guest lectures at universities on the evaluation processes.
Our work directly affects the lives of millions of Australians according to whether they can access drugs in the public healthcare system. The sums of money involved are very substantial. For example, the total increase in the cost to the Australian Government from listing a new drug can amount to $100m over the next 6 years. Our evaluations have led to significant price reductions of new medicines. This has resulted in millions of dollars in savings to the Australian health budget and provided headroom to fund other new medicines. Improved access to new medicines increases the life expectancy and quality of life of patients, and prevents disease onset. Ultimately, our work contributes to the ongoing sustainability of the healthcare system.
Impact date1 Nov 201625 Oct 2019
Category of impactQuality of life impacts, Economic impacts, Public policy impacts
Impact levelBenefit