2019-20 Federal Budget

The Australian Self Medication Industry (ASMI) tonight welcomed key budget measures in health but called for more to be done on health literacy and increasing access to medicines.

Preventive health, physical activity and healthy eating are key pillars of greater Self Care. Greater investment and focus on these areas is welcomed, but more needs to be done.

ASMI is disappointed that health literacy is not a major focus of this budget given that 60% of Australians have less than adequate health literacy levels. Greater health literacy empowers Australian consumers and leads to greater Self Care.

It is promising that there is additional funding for medical research. ASMI will be advocating for research projects that build the evidence-base for Self Care to be included within its scope.

A focus on the safety and quality use of medicines in aged care is welcomed by ASMI and we support the trial placement of part-time pharmacists in ACT Aged Care Homes.

Pharmacists play a key role in the quality use of medicines by Australians. The government's announcement tonight that they will provide additional support to pharmacies to help people manage their medication is welcomed and should include a focus on health literacy.

The government also announced a number of measures to improve access to medicines. Unfortunately, the provision of data protection for 'switch' applications to increase access to medicines wasn't included in the Budget. We will continue to advocate for the greater incentivisation of 'switch' applications on behalf of the consumer healthcare products industry.

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