Review of the National Medicines Policy

Closed 8 Oct 2021

Opened 30 Aug 2021

Published responses

View submitted responses where consent has been given to publish the response.


Published in 2000, Australia’s National Medicines Policy (NMP) aims to deliver positive health outcomes for all Australians through their access to and appropriate use of medicines. It is a well-established and universally endorsed framework based on partnerships between consumers and all segments of the medicines sector to promote the NMP’s four central objectives.

These are:

  • timely access to the medicines that Australians need, at a cost that individuals and the community can afford;
  • medicines meeting appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy;
  • quality use of medicines; and
  • maintaining a responsible and viable medicines industry

The Review of the NMP has been commissioned by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP in recognition of the substantial changes to the health landscape since the policy was published in 2000. 

The Minister has established an Expert Advisory Committee to lead the Review of the NMP for the Department of Health. The Committee is chaired by Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Michael Kidd AM. Its members include Professor Lloyd Sansom AO; Mrs Janette Donovan; Dr Sarah Dineen-Griffin and Mr David Herd. 

This Review will support a refresh of the NMP as a high-level policy framework, to ensure that the changes in the health system environment are addressed, and where applicable, the policy updated to take account of these changes.

Terms of Reference

This is a high level review aimed at identifying any gaps in the NMP’s objectives, partnership approach and accountabilities. The Review of the NMP will:

  1. Evaluate the current NMP objectives and determine whether these should be modified or additional objectives included. This includes consideration of the proposed Principles to be included within the NMP.
  2. Consider the definition of medicines and whether the NMP needs to be expanded to include health technologies.
  3. Assess the NMP’s utility in the context of rapidly evolving treatments options, population changes, interconnected relationships and system-wide capacities.
  4. Consider the centricity of the consumer within the NMP and whether it captures the diversity of consumers’ needs and expectations.
  5. Identify options to improve the NMP’s governance; communications, implementation (including enablers) and evaluation.
  6. Review the NMP partners and provide options for building greater accountability including addressing conflicts of interest.

A PDF version of the Review's Terms of Reference can be accessed here: Review of the National Medicines Policy - Terms of Reference

Consultation Information

To gain insights from stakeholders, the Review Committee has prepared a Discussion Paper to support the consultation process. This Discussion Paper provides context for the Review and is intended to encourage consideration of the issues the Review could address.

Stakeholders are invited to participate in the consultation by responding to the questions within the Discussion Paper via the Consultation Survey. You may wish to respond to all or some of the questions.

Alternatively, the full Discussion Paper is available for download as a PDF here: Review of the National Medicines Policy - Discussion Paper. A response document can be uploaded on the final page.

Consultation is now open and will close on Friday 8 October 2021.  

Why your views matter

The primary purpose of this consultation process is to provide the Review Committee with an appreciation of the breadth of stakeholders' views, to support a refresh of the NMP. The Review’s Terms of Reference address areas that will support this refresh as a high-level policy framework, rather than reviewing the activities and programs aimed at delivering the policy.

What happens next

The Committee would like to thank all stakeholders who have taken the time to provide a submission. The consultation process will continue throughout October and November 2021. This includes a program of meetings with key stakeholders, in addition to virtual group discussions.


  • Anyone from any background


  • Hospitals
  • e-Health
  • Health technology
  • Medicare
  • Legislation
  • Pharmaceutical benefits
  • Health insurance
  • Rural health services
  • Regulatory policy
  • Women's health
  • Children's health
  • Learning and development
  • Strategic Policy
  • Policy Development