Healthcare Opportunities

An Expert's View about Pharmaceuticals in Australia

Last updated: 12 Apr 2011

A recent BMI report rated Australia as the best place in the Asia Pacific region to do business in the Healthcare market, based on market size, structure and risk, ahead of Japan, Korea and China (as well as Singapore and India).

Sector briefing Healthcare Opportunities in AUSTRALIA Why Australia? The Australian Healthcare Industry currently generates revenue of AU$92 billion (£57 billion) per year. This is forecast to rise to $113 billion (£70 billion) within the next 5 years. A recent BMI report rated Australia as the best place in the Asia Pacific region to do business in the Healthcare market, based on market size, structure and risk, ahead of Japan, Korea and China (as well as Singapore and India). With beneficial exchange rates, a booming economy and proximity to the emerging markets of the Asia Pacific region, there has never been a better time to do business in ?Australia is rated as the best Australia. place in the Asia Pacific region to do business in the Healthcare Find general information on the Australian market, based on market size, market conditions on UKTI?s website. The structure and risk, ahead of Doing Business Guide for Australia gives an Japan, Korea and China (as well overview of Australia?s economy, business as Singapore and India).? culture, potential opportunities and an introduction to other relevant issues. UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Healthcare opportunities in AUSTRALIA health care which is both affordable and Opportunities accessible to all Australians, often provided free of charge at the point of care. It is Australia has a strong local manufacturing financed largely from general taxation revenue, industry but is still a net importer of medicines, which includes a Medicare levy based on a medical devices and equipment. Likewise person?s taxable income. Commonwealth Australia has a well educated and experienced funding for Medicare is mainly provided as: services sector, but excellence from the UK and NHS is recognised and sort after. ? Subsidies for prescribed medicines (with a safety net providing free medicines for Therefore opportunities exist across the full the chronically ill) and free or subsidised range of the Australian Healthcare Industry, treatment by practitioners such as including: doctors, participating optometrists or dentists; ? Selling pharmaceuticals, diagnostics, ? Substantial grants to State and Territory medical equipment and preventative governments to contribute to the costs healthcare products. of providing access to public hospitals at ? Providing aged, home and community no cost to patients; and based care services. ? Specific purpose grants to ? Providing information technology and State/Territory governments and other software products for the full chain of bodies. healthcare management. ? Providing health insurance packages. In addition, Commonwealth general purpose funding grants to State and Territory Health System Overview governments flow partly to health services. The Australian Health system is run through a State and Territory governments supplement combination of Commonwealth and State Medicare funding with their own revenues, government management. mainly for funding public hospitals. The Commonwealth currently has a leadership Proposed Changes role in policy making and particularly in The Commonwealth Government last year national issues like public health, research and proposed to change the way public hospitals national information management. The States will be funded and managed. and Territories are primarily responsible for the The proposed legislation will take away much delivery and management of public health of the management of public hospitals from the services and for maintaining direct State governments and be given to newly relationships with most healthcare providers. created bodies called Medicare Locals. The States and Territories deliver public acute The Medicare Locals would run groups of and psychiatric hospital services and a wide hospitals, after hours GP clinics and other range of community and public health services. health services based on geographical location and would be funded directly from the The State and Territory governments directly Commonwealth government. The aim being to fund a broad range of health services. The reduce cost of bureaucracy and bring uniform Commonwealth funds most medical services standards for public hospitals across the out of hospital and most health research. The country. Commonwealth, States and Territories jointly fund public hospitals and community care for These changes will involve reducing funding aged and disabled persons. and control at the State government level and at time of writing were under negotiation National Healthcare Funding System between the Commonwealth and State The aim of the national healthcare funding governments. The creation of Medicare Locals system is to give universal access to healthcare may alter some of the purchasing routes for while allowing choice for individuals through a goods and services. substantial private sector involvement in delivery and financing. The major part of the funding system is called ?Medicare?. Medicare provides high quality UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Healthcare opportunities in AUSTRALIA Private Sector Pharmaceutical benefits are paid as cash There is a large and vigorous private sector in transfers direct to around 4800 approved health services. The Commonwealth community pharmacies who dispense PBS Government considers that strong private medications on a claims reimbursement basis. sector involvement in health services provision The PBS also provides other forms of and financing is essential to the viability of the assistance to improve affordable access to Australian health system. For this reason the medicines, for eample specific funding for Commonwealth Government provides a 30 per public hospitals for certain high cost drugs, cent subsidy to individuals who acquire private such as immunosuppressants used in health insurance and has introduced additional transplantation. arrangements to foster lifelong participation in private health insurance. It is estimated that around 75 per cent of all prescriptions dispensed in Australia are Costs incurred by patients receiving private subsidised under the PBS. The other major doctors? services and some optometrical source of subsidised medicines is public services and dental surgery, whether in or out hospitals, where medicines are provided free to of hospital, are generally reimbursed either in-patients. The total cost of PBS prescription fully or in part by means of Medicare benefits. drugs dispensed from community pharmacies each year is nearly $4 billion. The Private hospitals make up around 22% of all Commonwealth pays around 83% of this cost, hospitals in Australia. Private hospitals are the remainder is funded by patient co- owned by for-profit or not-for-profit payments. organisations such as large corporate operators, religious operators and private Medical Device and Pharmaceutical health insurance funds. Regulation The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) is The two largest for-profit hospital operators are the regulatory body that controls the use and Ramsay Health Care and Healthscope who import of pharmaceuticals and medical devices account for about 40% of all private hospital in Australia. beds in Australia between them. In the main regulations are harmonised with the EU and documentation used for a CE mark Public Hospital Distribution No. can be used in Australia for example. However there are some differences around certain by State Hospitals products. New South Wales 220 Victoria 118 In addition every product registered by the TGA and listed on the Australian Register of Queensland 89 Therapeutic Goods must be listed under an South Australia 79 Australian company or individual. This can be Western Australia 68 either a subsidiary company, appointed distributor or regulatory consultant that agrees Medicines/Pharmaceuticals to act as the legal sponsor of the product. The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) aims to provide all Medicare-eligible persons Major Health Infrastructure Projects with access to effective and necessary The Health and Hospitals Fund (HHF) was prescription medications at a reasonable cost established by the Government as part of its to the patients and to the nation. economic stability package. As part of the 2009-10 Federal Budget, a $3.2 billion nation- The PBS provides subsidies for about 600 kinds building package of HHF projects covering of drugs in nearly 1500 formulations which means patients can obtain reasonably priced three critical areas was announced. These medicines for most medical conditions. included: Additional drugs are addd when assessed as ? $1.3 billion towards building a world class meeting safety, quality, effectiveness and cost- cancer care system; effectiveness criteria. UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Healthcare opportunities in AUSTRALIA the institutions under their jurisdiction. For ? $1.5 billion towards building a hospital major new facilities or some product supplies system for the future and to undertake they will offer tenders to interested suppliers. other projects of national significance; and A similar arrangement is seen at major ? $430.3 million towards medical research privately owned healthcare providers be they and workforce infrastructure to improve the hospital operators, general practitioner transfer of research outcomes into patient companies or pathology laboratories. care. Other products such as medicines, devices and general medical supplies may be sold directly As part of the $1.3 billion provided to build a to individual facilities or even patients. world class cancer care system, $560 million was allocated in the 2009-10 Budget to In most cases it would be imperative to have a establish a network of best practice regional local presence to be able to communicate cancer centres and associated accommodation directly with government bodies, key health facilities. decision makers or patients. The aim of the Regional Cancer Centres If you have any questions on the opportunities initiative is to help improve access and support above, contact the UKTI] contacts named in for cancer patients in rural, regional and this report. Business opportunities aimed remote Australia, and to help close the gap in specifically at UK companies are added daily to cancer outcomes between the city and the UKTI?s website. These leads are sourced by our country. staff overseas in British Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates, across all sectors Twenty one regional cancer centre projects and in over 100 markets. have been approved. These projects will enable people with cancer to access the right care at You can be alerted to business opportunities on the right time, as close as possible to home a regular basis by registering on the UKTI and family, irrespective of where they live or website. Find out more on UKTI?s business their social circumstances. opportunities service on the UKTI website On 30 September 2010, the Government opened a new funding round under the HHF, with funding of up to $1.8 billion available for health infrastructure projects. The primary focus of this HHF funding round is to provide capital funding to projects in regional communities in the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) Remoteness Areas (RA) 2 to 5 to support upgrades to regional health infrastructure, expansions to regional hospitals and to help support the clinical training capacity of regional hospitals. The Department of Health and Ageing website, has links to details of all these projects. Key Methods of Doing Business There are a wide variety of different methods of doing business in the healthcare sector in Australia, due to the very diverse nature of the industry and services offered. State funded administrative regions generally have centralised purchasing departments that look after the purchasing of some items for all UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Healthcare opportunities in AUSTRALIA Major events and activities UKTI contacts Medical Fair Australia Joe Dodd Trade & Investment Manager Time: May 2012 British-Consulate General, Melbourne Tel: +61 3 9652 1605 The largest Healthcare tradeshow and Email: exhibition in Australia is Medical Fair Australia run by the Medica organisation. This is a biennial event which is due to be next Shengul Kosyer held in May 2012. Trade Promotion Officer British-Consulate General, Melbourne If you are interested in a particular health field Tel: +61 3 9652 1607 each national organisation will usually hold an Email: annual conference which would be worth targeting to access the thought leaders. For example the Clinical Oncological Society Annual Scientific Meeting will be held in Perth th th from 15 ? 17 November 2011. Find full details of all events in this country and sector on the UKTI website. New export events are added daily to the site and you can register to be alerted to them on a daily, weekly or monthly basis UKTI?s Tradeshow Access Programme (TAP) provides grant support for eligible Small & Medium Sized Enterprises (SME's) to attend trade shows overseas. Find out more about UKTI support for attendance at overseas events UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Healthcare opportunities in AUSTRALIA Next steps - How UKTI can help ? Arranging appointments British companies wishing to develop their ? Organise seminars or other events for business in the Australian market are advised you to meet contacts and promote your to undertake as much market research and company in the Chinese market planning as possible in the UK. UKTI?s team in Australia with its wide local knowledge and This work is available via our Overseas Market experience, can provide a range of services to Introduction Service (OMIS) a chargeable British-based companies wishing to grow their service which assists British-based companies business in global markets. wishing to enter or expand their business in overseas markets. This can include: ? Provision of market information To find out more about commissioning this ? Validated lists of agents/distributors work, or accessing other UKTI services and ? Key market players or potential specialist advice, please visit the UKTI website customers in the Chinese market to find contact details for your local UKTI ? Establishment of interest of such office. contacts in working with you Whereas every effort has been made to ensure that the information given in this document is accurate, neither UK Trade & Investment nor its parent Departments (the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office), accept liability for any errors, omissions or misleading statements, and no warranty is given or responsibility accepted as to the standing of any individual, firm, company or other organisation mentioned. Published 2011 by UK Trade & Investment. Crown Copyright © UK Trade & Investment Sector briefing: Healthcare opportunities in AUSTRALIA
Posted: 12 April 2011, last updated 12 April 2011

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