Recognition for committee chair, leading oncologist and patient advocates

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King's Birthday recognition for Professor Andrew Wilson, a leading oncologist, patient advocates, a recently retired senior bureaucrat, an innovation leader and a highly respected health department official who contributed to managing the risk of medicine shortages during the pandemic.

Professor Andrew Wilson, the chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC), has been made an Officer (AO) in the General Division.

"For distinguished service to medicine through public health leadership, to regulatory bodies, and to tertiary education," says the citation.

Professor Wilson has chaired the PBAC since 2015. He has served several separate terms on the committee since the 1990s. Health minister Mark Butler recently appointed Professor Wilson for another 12-month term as the committee's chair.

He is also the co-director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy and Economics at the University of Sydney.

Professor Wilson has been a leading proponent of change. In 2017, he called for a review of the National Medicines Policy and is currently on the reference committee of the health technology assessment review.

Professor John Zalcberg has also been made an Officer in the General Division.

Professor Zalcberg is one of Australia's leading oncologists and an outspoken advocate for reforming Australia's approach to medicines access and health technology assessment.

Rosemary Huxtable, who recently retired as the secretary of the Department of Finance and was previously a deputy secretary in the health department responsible for the PBS, was also recognised with an AO.

"For distinguished service to public administration through leadership roles in the areas of health and finance, and to strategic policy reform," says the citation.

A health department official has been recognised with a Public Service Medal for her work on medicines shortages and vaccine safety during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elspeth Kay emerged as a highly respected official during the pandemic, particularly for her consultative style and willingness to accept advice from stakeholder groups.

According to the citation, "Ms Kay monitored the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and developed solutions to shortages of medicines triggered by the impact of the pandemic overseas. Her hard work and innovation during the pandemic has resulted in new, ongoing processes which directly improve health outcomes for Australians."

It added, "Ms Kay was instrumental in developing relationships with stakeholders to combat the shortages of medicinal supplies impacting Australians and strengthen channels to manage shortages of ICU medicines for ventilated COVID-19 patients. Australia would not have had the same response it had to the COVID-19 pandemic without Ms Kay's significant contribution, which resulted in well-managed medicine supplies for intensive care units, reporting on the safety of COVID-19 vaccines and developing solutions to shortages of medicines triggered by the pandemic."

Patients have also featured prominently in this year's King's Birthday honours.

Simone Leyden, who founded NeuroEndocrine Cancer Australia, was made a Member (AM) in the General Division, "For significant service to community health, particularly through neuroendocrine cancer organisations."

Ms Leyden recently joined Telix Pharmaceuticals as the director of global patient advocacy and government affairs.

Medicines Australia chair Dr Anna Lavelle, who previously served as AusBiotech CEO and on the boards of many Australian life sciences companies and organisations, was also honoured with an AM for "significant service to science and innovation through a range of roles."

The late Nicole Cooper, who shared her experience as a cancer patient and advocated for change in the health system, has received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM).

The CEO of Spinal Muscular Atrophy Australia, Julie Cini, received an OAM for "service to community health."