Review: Quality Use of Medicines Program's Delivery by the National Prescribing Service

Overview Statement and Response To Recommendations

Page last updated: 08 April 2020

    The Hon Greg Hunt MP
    Minister for Health

Response to the Review of the Quality Use of Medicines Program’s Delivery by the National Prescribing Service Limited (NPS MedicineWise)

The Department of Health has reviewed NPS MedicineWise’s delivery of grant funded quality use of medicine programs that keep health professionals and consumers up-to-date with timely, independent evidence based information and resources on the quality use of medicines in Australia.

The Review found that NPS MedicineWise produces high quality and valuable programs and resources linked to quality use of medicines and the support of patients through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medical Benefits Schedule (MBS). The Review found almost universal acknowledgement that NPS MedicineWise’s activities should continue to be supported by the Commonwealth. It highlighted the increasing complexity of the quality use of medicines policy landscape and stressed the importance of NPS MedicineWise adapting its service offerings, strengthening its partnerships and improving the transparency of its financial processes and performance reports. The review recommended areas for improvements in NPS MedicineWise operations which have been supported by Government. The Review also stressed the importance of NPS Medicine’s role as a steward of quality use of medicine and that this approach must be evident in the delivery of the grant program.

I would like to thank the Reviewer, Emeritus Professor Lloyd Sansom AO, for undertaking this Review and recommending a strategic pathway for the organisation to transition to higher levels of transparency, accountability and efficiency.

My department is working with NPS MedicineWise and key stakeholders to implement the Review’s recommendations.

The Quality Use of Medicine and Medicine Safety recently became the 10th National Health Priority Area and NPS MedicineWise has an important role in delivering health improvements and contributing to a more sustainable health system through its delivery of the Quality Use of Medicines Grant.

The Government has entered into a new grant agreement with NPS MedicineWise for the period 1 January 2020 to 30 June 2022. The new grant framework requires NPS MedicineWise to address the issues identified in the Review.

The Public Report of the Review and the Government’s response to the Review recommendations are provided below: