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Australia to lose agency dedicated to better quality medicine use
  1. Barbara Mintzes12,
  2. Agnes Vitry3
  1. 1 School of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre, Faculty of Medicine and Health, The University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
  2. 2 School of Population and Public Health, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  3. 3 Clinical and Health Sciences, University of South Australia Division of Health Sciences, Adelaide, South Australia, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Barbara Mintzes, School of Pharmacy and Charles Perkins Centre, The University of Sydney Faculty of Medicine and Health, Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia; barbara.mintzes{at}

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Public payment for medicines is key to equity of access, as are reimbursement decisions aligned with genuine therapeutic advantage. To optimise benefits and minimise harm, support for rational medicine use (called ‘quality use of medicines’ in Australia) is also needed. Australia’s independent National Prescribing Service (‘NPS MedicineWise’ or NPS) was set up in 1998 to support quality use of medicines as a key component of Australia’s National Medicines Policy. After nearly 25 years of delivering high-quality services to improve the use of medicines, NPS’ board announced in September that it will close at the end of 2022 due to loss of government funding.

Why this happened remains unclear. The first inkling was a review by Professor Lloyd Sansom commissioned by the Australian Department of Health.1 The largely supportive report highlighted: ‘almost universal acknowledgement that NPS MedicineWise produces high quality resources’ and ‘a general consensus of support for the work of the organisation’. The report identified some areas …

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