Funding for projects to support decision-making

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Health minister Greg Hunt has announced funding for six projects including one he says will help PBAC and MSAC make decisions about new cancer treatments.

The $12 million in grants from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) include a $3.5 million grant to the Cancer Council NSW for a project focussed on modelling cancer trends and related interventions.

"This will be used by Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and the Medical Services Advisory Committee in making decisions about the drugs and treatments that should be subsidised by Government for patients with cancer," said Minister Hunt.

He continued, "Health system costs for cancer are escalating as the population ages and new high-cost technologies are developed. Predicting changes in cancer trends will be critical to ensuring treatments are based on the best evidence, are targeted to the individual patient and are available where and when needed."

The University of Melbourne will receive $2.3 million for research into predicting the impact of current and new cancer treatments.

"The listing of new cancer treatments on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and Medical Benefits Schedule has become complicated because of the uncertainty in the number of patients who may actually benefit from a treatment, and the implication for delivery of the treatment on the health system," said Minister Hunt.

"This project will support the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee to more accurately quantify the health benefits of medicines proposed to be subsidised by Government for use in children."

Other research projects will examine services such as the on-going quality of life for patients who had previously required paediatric care and epidemiological modelling to deliver better care for Australian patients with myeloma.