PSA delivers MRFF funding deal to enhance medicine safety

Friday 25 September 2020


The Pharmaceutical Society of Australia (PSA) has welcomed funding for medicines safety and quality use of medicines research that the Federal Government has announced today, with a $25 million investment through the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).


The grant opportunity will be available to support the Quality Use of Medicines and Medicine Safety National Health Priority, aimed at improving access to medicines and the safe use of medicines in the community.


PSA National President Associate Professor Chris Freeman welcomed the announcement and said research undertaken through this funding will go a long way in improving the health of Australians through medicine safety.


“The intended outcome of the research grant opportunity is to reduce the amount of medicine-related harm in the community and help promote the safe and effective use of medicines,” he said.


“This is on the back of PSA seminal Medicine Safety: Take Care report which showed, 250,000 Australians are hospitalised each year and another 400,000 present to emergency departments as a result of medication error, misuse and misadventure, costing Australia $1.4 billion in hospital admissions.


“The Health Minister’s commitment to PSA to progress the National Health Priority Area included progressing research initiatives that would seek to improve medicines safety and the quality use of medicines. I am pleased that the Minister was able to finalise this announcement to coincide with World Pharmacists Day.


“This continues the commitment that successive governments have had through Community Pharmacy Agreements to continue to encourage and foster innovation in the role of pharmacists.”


The first round of the MRFF grant opportunity will allocate $13 million to support medical research and medical innovation projects and will open on 6 October 2020.


As part of World Pharmacists Day 2020, the Federal Government also announced that existing medicines-related COVID-19 measures, including the Home Medicines Service and Continued Dispensing emergency arrangements will continue for at least another six months.


A/Prof Freeman welcomed the extensions but once again called on the Government to make Continued Dispensing arrangements permanent.


“With COVID-19 still posing considerable risk in parts of Australia these arrangements are important to ensure Australians can continue to safely access essential medicines,” he said.


“We continue to urge the government to make emergency supply provisions of this nature standard practice and it is important that all Australians are supported and have access to vital medicines when faced with an emergency or disaster.”


Also announced by the Federal Government, from 1 January 2021, to help people take the right dose of medicine at the right time, changes to the Dose Administration Aids program will increase the base cap from 30 to 60.


Media contact: PSA Media: 0487 922 176