There is likely to be a lot of activity in the Private Health Sector in Australia in 2018, particularly in medical devices. Following on from the highly publicised five-year Prostheses agreement between the Commonwealth Department of Health and the Medical Technology Association of Australia, implementation of the agreement must now take place.
The agreement included some negatives for the industry but also provides certainty and new opportunities for innovative and non-implantable technologies. There is also likely to be some long-awaited process improvements and substantial changes to the evidence requirements.
The agreement included a benefit reduction of $300 million applied over 2 years. However, the real opportunities lay with a commitment by the government to review the Prostheses List criteria so that non-implantable technologies may be included on the Prostheses List if clinically and cost-effective. The agreement specifically mentions cardiac ablation catheters. The exclusion of these types of devices from reimbursement has long been a sore point for medical technology suppliers. It is likely that any changes to the criteria will be carefully crafted so that there is not a flood of applications for devices that may not be appropriate for this type of funding, however there is no doubt that this is a very welcome development.
Companies who are wishing to launch technologies in Australia will need to keep up with a rapidly changing reimbursement environment.
To learn about Australian Device Reimbursement, be sure to register for the Asia Pacific Device Summit being held March 19-20, 2018 in Yorba Linda, California. The earlybird discount has been extended to 28 February – register now.
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