Access to new cancer medicines in Australia: dispelling the myths and informing a public debate

Agnes Vitry, Barbara Mintzes, Wendy Lipworth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)
48 Downloads (Pure)


Despite the high level of spending on cancer medicines in Australia, consumer organisations and the pharmaceutical industry often make claims of delayed or lack of access to new cancer medicines-claims that are frequently supported by prominent coverage in the Australian media. These claims, while morally and psychologically compelling, tend to ignore the complexity of medicines funding decisions. In this commentary we summarise the current situation regarding the registration and funding of cancer medicines in Australia, elucidate the main challenges associated with access to cancer medicines in the Australian context, and describe some of the steps that have been taken to address these challenges.

Original languageEnglish
Article number13
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pharmaceutical Policy and Practice
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright the Author(s) 2016. Version archived for private and non-commercial use with the permission of the author/s and according to publisher conditions. For further rights please contact the publisher.


  • cancer medicines
  • funding
  • high prices
  • consumer engagement
  • transparency
  • public debate


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