Monday, March 7, 2011

Acetylcysteine - Part Two - How Government red tape ruins everything

Just when I thought everything was sorted, Government red tape has ruined it:

Following my correspondence to you last week regarding the 1st May 2011 PBS listing of Omegapharm Acetylcysteine Solution. 
I received notification on Friday from the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) that our submission will now require Federal Government 'Cabinet' approval. This decision was made without any consultation or warning from the Minister for Health and Ageing, Nicola Roxon and has come as a great surprise to both myself and the PBAC.
Prior to last week, the PBAC were responsible for approving medicines under $10 Million per annum. For products over $10 Million the PBAC refers to the Federal Cabinet for approval. The Federal Cabinet will now be responsible for the review and approval of all PBAC recommendations.

Even though Omegapharm Acetylcysteine is well below the $10 Million level (and the product was recommended for listing in April 2010 by the PBAC and was accepted for a May 1st 2011 listing last week) the product will require Federal Government 'Cabinet' approval. 

The decision by the Federal Government will affect the May 2011 listing of Acetylcysteine. The Federal Government confirmed that it will 'put the needs of patients with serious conditions and limited treatment options first', so hopefully they uphold this statement and finalise the PBS listing of Acetylcysteine quickly.
So what does this all mean right now. We urgently need you help!
As part of the new 'Cabinet' review process, I have been asked by the Lung Foundation, Thoracic Society and the PBAC to seek feedback from Prescribers/ Specialists on the effectiveness of Acetylcysteine in patients that have the following lung conditions:

·         chronic bronchopulmonary disease (chronic emphysema, emphysema with bronchitis, chronic asthmatic bronchitis, tuberculosis, bronchiectasis and primary amyloidosis of the lung);
·         acute bronchopulmonary disease (pneumonia, bronchitis, tracheobronchitis);
·         pulmonary complications of cystic fibrosis;
·         pulmonary complications associated with surgery;
·         post-traumatic chest conditions;
·         atelectasis due to mucus obstruction.

·         lung cancer;
·         tracheostomy care;
·         anaesthesia.

Therefore, we URGENTLY require the following information;

Name of your Specialist
Location of your Specialist
Telephone Number of your Specialist

The Lung Foundation and the Thoracic Society require this information with the next 48 hours and will be writing to the Federal Government and PBAC.

If you feel uncomfortable providing us with this information, please send the details through to the CEO of the Lung Foundation Mr William Darbishire @

To date our company has done everything it can to provide affordable access to this important medicine. While the delay with the TGA and now the Federal Government is well beyond our control, our company is committed to ensuring Acetylcysteine Solution receives the PBS listing.

I think I might need to head down to Julia's office with a letter of complaint on Wednesday.


Cat from Raspberry Rainbow said...

Oh no, Cam. I am so sorry to hear, I hope this can sorted out soon for you. Cat xox

NessaKnits said...

You poor bugger. If you do a circular letter of support send me one and I'll onforward.

Tas said...

Bloody hell Cam. I am so sorry to hear.

Fiona said...

Well, that really does stink. Hope it is sorted for you soon, Cam.

michelle said...

sorry to hear that cam. good luck with the recruitment. i hope you get what you are after. sending positive thoughts and encouragement your way

Tanya said...

that's shit Cam, just when you were sounding all chipper about it and thought it was sorted. Hope this turns out to be just a slight hiccup.

Christy said...

I hope it all gets sorted soon Cam.

Lisa said...

Oh Cam, that just sucks! Do you have a letter of support that we can forward on to the Minister. I will be happy to do that. I really hope it is all sorted out soon for you. xxx

Selina said...

Hey Cam, tell me everything you need. I'm heading to my clinic today and I'll get onto it then.


willow and moo said...

Oh Cam, I am gutted to read this. I hope that tape is cut through quickly.

renae said...

Why am I not surprised. Working in pharma you hear about red tape like this a lot.

gret said...

Oh Cam, that's so wrong. I'm so sorry to read this. Please let us know if there's any way we can help. Hoping it gets sorted real quick.

Leonie @ Cuppa and Cake said...

bugger....but the fight isn't over yet. Keep plodding and pay a visit to julia, if shes in your neighborhood, why not?


Lexi:: PottyMouthMama said...

Enlist whatever help you can! Go down to Julia, this is just crazy. I'm with you Cam, fight!!

Swirlyarts said...

Oh no - just when you thought you'd got it sorted :)

Car said...

oh crap Cam :(
Keep fighting!

Tania said...

Anytime you need someone to march and post placards or email persons or whatnot, just yell. Bloody red tape.

Anonymous said...

Is there anything we can do Cam??? Happy to write letters or throw rotten apples or whatever you need - just let me know.