David Ali CEO of Motor Neurone Disease Australia, Gethin Thomas, Executive Director Research at Motor Neurone Disease Australia and Carol Bennett, Painaustralia CEO at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport Inquiry into the Approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia
Appearing at the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and SportInquiry into the Approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia, Painaustralia CEO Carol Bennett said there must be a better way to consult consumers throughout the regulatory process.
‘The current process is leaving consumers disappointed and bereft of hope. Consumer input needs to be considered, valued and adopted when making decisions that have a real impact on the quality of life of those living with pain and other health conditions’, Ms. Bennett said.
We have called for meaningful and greater input for consumers as part of the approval process for new devices and drugs in Australia. Best practice does not recommend the long-term use of medicines for pain management. But unless we provide consumers with access to affordable, best practice alternatives, medicines will continue to play an important role in chronic pain management. That means we need systematic and genuine consultation with consumers who will be most impacted by these decisions.
Painaustralia highlighted the recent changes to availability of opioid medications for chronic pain management in the absence of information for consumers and clinicians or alternative treatments at the time of these changes. If the context in which these decisions are made, including and importantly consumer experience, are not taken into account, we run the risk of causing further harm. Painaustralia’s media release about the inquiry can be found here.