AAP

Aussies wait 15 months longer than US, Europe for drugs

DRUG companies are delaying making cancer-fighting drugs and other medicines available to Australian patients because of the smaller domestic market, a new report has found.

The latest review of the Therapeutic Goods Administration has found patients are waiting up to 15 months longer than those in the United States or Europe for some drugs.

While the report said some companies had complained the TGA's processes took longer, the independent review showed approvals took an average 90 days to complete.

Among the drugs cited for unusually long waits were anti-cancer medications, at five months; cardiovascular medicines, at seven months, and some nervous system medicines, at up to 15 months.

Health Minister Sussan Ley said the review "debunks the myth that Australia is slow at approving new medicines when compared to the rest of the world".

Rather, some drugs firms were just testing new drugs first in the larger markets.



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