13 July 2021 Submission
CHF

On 25 February 2021, changes to the Therapeutic Goods (Medical Devices) Regulations 2002 (‘the Regulations’) commenced to introduce a new regulatory framework (the Framework) for medical devices that are designed and manufactured for individual patients (otherwise known as 'personalised' medical devices).  The key change introduced under the Framework is a change to the definition of a custom-made medical device.

The TGA received a range of feedback and information during the course of introducing the Framework, including concerns from some sectors about the impact of the changes.

In some cases it was claimed that the regulatory requirements were:

  • a duplication of existing regulation already provided by professional accrediting bodies or other regulatory bodies;
  •  excessive when compared with the actual risk posed by the device; and/or
  • unreasonable in terms of regulatory burden.

So in July 2021 the TGA sought feedback on potential refinements to the Framework that could be considered to ensure risks associated with personalised medical devices are appropriately mitigated without imposing unnecessary administrative and regulatory burden. To which CHF submitted the attached response.

7 July 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

Collaboration elaboration!

In the July 2021 edition of Consumers Shaping Health, we announce the commencement of Collaborative Pairs, a consumer leadership program with five pairs from across Australia and New Zealand.

  • Consumer consultation on Primary Health Care reform
  • Webinar on COVID vaccine rollout and key messages from the Department of Health's Principal Medical Advisor, Professor Michael Kidd, Rural Health Commissioner, Dr Ruth Stewart and Consumer Representative, Diane Walsh 
  • Announcement of details for the Youth Health Forum Summit in Sept 2021

view the newsletter

18 June 2021 Submission
CHF

The Therapeutic Goods Advertising Code (No.2) 2018 (the Code) is the compliance standard that prescribes the minimum requirements for the lawful advertising of therapeutic goods to the public in Australia. It is an important instrument for a range of stakeholders including advertisers, manufacturers, suppliers and retailers; relevant industry associations; health professionals and peak bodies; and consumers and consumer representative groups. With the potential for serious consequences for non-compliance, it is important that the Code is contemporary and clear.

In this consultation the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) was seeking feedback on options to improve the Code. The proposed improvements were aimed at increasing advertisers’ understanding of the requirements of the Code, ensuring provisions work as intended, and improving advertising compliance. The proposed improvements considered the need to minimise unnecessary compliance costs while continuing to ensure that advertising does not contribute to any unsafe or improper use of advertised products.

The Consumers Health Forum of Australia (CHF) is the national peak body representing the interests of Australian healthcare consumers and those with an interest in health consumer affairs, including health-based research. We have over 260 members reflecting a broad spectrum of organisations including state-based consumer peaks, condition-specific groups, volunteer patient groups, professional associations, Primary Health Networks (PHNs) and the research community.

We work in collaboration with our members, national partners and research collaborators to influence policy, programs and services to ensure they are in the consumer and community interest. This includes our role on the TGA Advertising Consultative Council (TGACC) as consumer representatives.

CHF is pleased to make this submission in response to this TGA Consultation.

17 June 2021 Submission

CHF submitted this response to the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Health, Aged Care and Sport inquiry into approval processes for new drugs and novel medical technologies in Australia June 2021.

The recommendations, which include feedback from health consumers who are members of CHF’s safety and quality special interest group, confirm that streamlining processes, working collaboratively with consumers and consumer organisations, embracing personalised medications, research and health technologies, supporting equitable access and the revision of the National Medicines Policy are all timely and necessary.

The full submission is available below.

10 June 2021 Fact Sheets
Consumers Health Forum

2020-21 was an exciting year for CHF, from working with our growing member base to reach millions of consumers, to launching initiatives that will make a real difference to Australia's healthcare system. Read our Report Card to learn more.

  • CHF’s impact has continued to strengthen over the past year despite COVID-19’s curbs on face-to-face contacts with our members and stakeholders.  Indeed our take-up of Zoom and Teams meetings has enabled more out reach than ever in listening to, and advocating on behalf of health consumers.
  • CHF’s virtual interaction came through with flying colours when CHF staged its first Australasian conference --- the Shifting Gears summit on health consumer experience and leadership which attracted 800-plus registrants logging on to the real-time conference sessions from around the world. See coverage of the conference in our Health Voices ejournal  and the conference report by Croakey Health Media.
  • Another highly successful first for CHF was our inaugural Consumer Commission which, again through largely remote conferencing, brought together 30 health consumer leaders from around Australia and produced a comprehensive report on the future directions for health care post-COVID in its report:  Making Health Better.
  • We continue to monitor and report on community responses through our Australia’s Health Panel surveys on issues of the moment including COVID face masks, vaccinations and health literacy in the past year.
  • And our special interest groups are keeping us in touch and active on issues including: Primary Health Care, Research & Data, Digital Health, Safety & Quality in Healthcare and Rural & Remote Health.
24 May 2021 Position Statements
Consumers Health Forum
12 May 2021 Report
Consumers Health Forum

Federal Budget 2021-22 analysis

Since the Federal Budget 2021-22 was handed down by the Treasurer, Josh Frydenburg on Tuesday 11 May 2021, we have been working hard to bring you the latest information and expert commentary on how the Budget responds to the needs of health consumers.

Our Budget Briefing analysis is attached or you can download it from here, and we've created a short summary video overview you can view here.

Our media release on the Budget is here: Budget’s modest response to aged care and mental health inquiries

Further to this, leaders from the Youth Health Forum also provided commentary in a media release: Budget moves for youth health welcome as a first step

There will be follow-up webinar to discuss the briefing with national health policy leaders to provide further analysis of the measures, and reactions from other organisations and health policy experts. This will be scheduled soon. 

Contact Policy Director, Jo Root on email: J.Root@chf.org.au with any questions and feedback

11 May 2021 Consumers Shaping Health
Consumers Health Forum

What do we expect and need in this Budget?

As this edition of Consumers Shaping Health goes to press, we await the fine detail of what the Federal Budget will bring, particularly for health care.

  • Navigating Telehealth: the Patients’ Perspective
  • The Fourth Atlas of Australian Healthcare Variation 
  • Engaged, informed consumers key in tackling unwarranted variation 

view the newsletter

5 May 2021 Report
Croakey Health Media

This report by Jennifer Doggett and Cate Carrigan for the Croakey Conference News Service, captures content from the Consumers Health Forum of Australia’s Virtual Summit 2021: Shifting Gears. It covers articles, social media comment, and podcasts - Croakey Voices Episode 10 and 11

Nicole MacKee contributed to live-tweeting of the event. Access to the Summit conference materials is available until March 2021, go to the conference website for more details. 

 

Croakey Health Media is a non-profit public interest journalism organisation based in Australia.
https://www.croakey.org

4 May 2021 Report
Consumers Health Forum and NPS MedicineWise

CHF was engaged and funded by NPS MedicineWise as the lead agency to plan and implement a project, Consumer Health Literacy Segmentation Research.

The Consumer Segmentation Research contributes to improving consumer health literacy as it relates to quality use of medicines (QUM) through the implementation of research to:

  • Understand the current status of health literacy amongst Australians
  • Inform future NPS MedicineWise Grant activities
  • Support the principles and objectives of the National Medicines Policy.

The objectives were to:

  • Identify and characterise key consumer segments as they relate to QUM health literacy to assist in future resource or program development
  • Provide findings that reflect the knowledge, attitudes and perceptions of ‘grass roots consumers’ in relation to QUM
  • Identify the current understanding of consumer health literacy for Australians as it relates to QUM
  • Provide recommendations for resource/program development to meet unmet needs
  • Identify relevant QUM and health literacy indicators for future evaluation of collective impact.
  • Distribute findings to support the principles and objectives of the National Medicines Policy and integrate into other Grant activities.

To achieve the objectives, four project activities were conducted: 1) formative research; 2) literature review; 3) virtual consumer led discussions and 4) consumer segmentation survey. This report summarises the key findings collected across the project activities, addressing each of the objectives.

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