Australian Government responds to New Frontier Report

On Thursday 30 November, the Albanese Government tabled its long-awaited response to the 2021 New Frontier Report into the approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia.


Of the 31 recommendations, the Government has accepted 11 in full, with 11 also accepted in principal, 4 were accepted in part and 5 noted, with no recommendations being rejected outright.


Overall, the response highlights efforts already underway in several of the recommended fields. However, some responses are worth highlighting.


  • Recommendation 5 with the government committing to a formal strategy and exploring a range of options to increase the number of health economists to assist with the HTA process.
  • Recommendation 6 paving the way for better and simpler consumer resources to explain the HTA process and the role that patients play in the process.
  • Recommendation 19 being accepted opening the door for better coverage of non-implantable devices as part of the ongoing reforms to the Prescribed List of Medical Devices and Human Tissue Products.
  • Recommendation 20 response outlining Government’s current consideration of directly seeking expressions of interest to cover the removal of drugs from the PBS when it would result in unmet clinical needs.
  • Recommendations 25 reaffirming the Governments desire to move towards a unified national systems and standard operating procedures for clinical tele-trials
  • Recommendation 31 providing a glimpse into the current stage of MSAC cost recovery with the process still seeming to be on the ‘go slow’ as well as a commitment to continue to refine pre-submission meetings for MSAC applications


While the 76 page document contains nuggets of new information, a considerable number of responses to recommendations are intertwined with the ongoing review of HTA processes that was part of the Government’s strategic agreement with Medicines Australia.


If you or your organisation would like any further insight, please do not hesitate to contact us.


To download a copy of the Report, click here.


To download a copy of the Government’s response, click here.