Productivity Commission confirms value of medicines

September 20, 2005

The new finding that increased spending on medical technologies is a positive investment for Australia should be an important input into government decision-making, the Chief Executive Officer of Medicines Australia, Kieran Schneemann, said today.

The Productivity Commission report released today is important reading for many reasons. For too long, increased health spending on medical technologies and pharmaceuticals has been seen as a "cost" to the nation when in fact it is an investment for Australia and Australians live longer and more productive lives as a result.

"For example, Australians have been told recently and regularly that the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme is 'out of control'. The latest figures for the year to July certainly do not bear this out," Mr Schneemann said.

"The Productivity Commission has raised the point that we need better information about the costs and benefits of technology. An accurate forecast of where the PBS will go over the next five to 10 years would be highly beneficial.

The Productivity Commission report found that "advances in medical technology have brought large benefits but have also been a major driver of increased health spending in recent years".

Among these advances are lower surgery rates from medicines to treat stomach ulcers, with the number of people going under the knife being reduced from 97,000 to less than 19,000 in just the past decade.

In the United States, new cancer medicines account for more than half of the gains in cancer survival rates since 1975. Over that time, the overall survival rate has increased from 50 to 63 percent, saving hundreds of thousands of lives. These figures would be comparable in Australia.

The Productivity Commission also reported that new and innovative medicines for asthma reduced the mortality rate in Australia from this condition by 28 percent during the 1990s, and up to 70 percent of the reduction in deaths from heart disease may be due to new medicines and medical intervention.

This report is further evidence that medicines add more years to life and more life to years.
CONTACT: Paul Chamberlin 61-612-228-520

Research Australia

Related Technology Articles from Brightsurf:

December issue SLAS Technology features 'advances in technology to address COVID-19'
The December issue of SLAS Technology is a special collection featuring the cover article, ''Advances in Technology to Address COVID-19'' by editors Edward Kai-Hua Chow, Ph.D., (National University of Singapore), Pak Kin Wong, Ph.D., (The Pennsylvania State University, PA, USA) and Xianting Ding, Ph.D., (Shanghai Jiao Tong University, Shanghai, China).

October issue SLAS Technology now available
The October issue of SLAS Technology features the cover article, 'Role of Digital Microfl-uidics in Enabling Access to Laboratory Automation and Making Biology Programmable' by Varun B.

Robot technology for everyone or only for the average person?
Robot technology is being used more and more in health rehabilitation and in working life.

Novel biomarker technology for cancer diagnostics
A new way of identifying cancer biomarkers has been developed by researchers at Lund University in Sweden.

Technology innovation for neurology
TU Graz researcher Francesco Greco has developed ultra-light tattoo electrodes that are hardly noticeable on the skin and make long-term measurements of brain activity cheaper and easier.

April's SLAS Technology is now available
April's Edition of SLAS Technology Features Cover Article, 'CURATE.AI: Optimizing Personalized Medicine with Artificial Intelligence'.

Technology in higher education: learning with it instead of from it
Technology has shifted the way that professors teach students in higher education.

Post-lithium technology
Next-generation batteries will probably see the replacement of lithium ions by more abundant and environmentally benign alkali metal or multivalent ions.

Rethinking the role of technology in the classroom
Introducing tablets and laptops to the classroom has certain educational virtues, according to Annahita Ball, an assistant professor in the University at Buffalo School of Social Work, but her research suggests that tech has its limitations as well.

The science and technology of FAST
The Five hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), located in a radio quiet zone, with the targets (e.g., radio pulsars and neutron stars, galactic and extragalactic 21-cm HI emission).

Read More: Technology News and Technology Current Events is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to