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

15 Citations (Scopus)


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
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 2016


  • Cancer medicines
  • Consumer engagement
  • Funding
  • High prices
  • Public debate
  • Transparency

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pharmacy
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Health Policy

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