, Volume 36, Issue 5, pp 555–565 | Cite as

The Australian Managed Entry Scheme: Are We Getting it Right?

  • Haitham W. TuffahaEmail author
  • Paul A. Scuffham
Review Article


In 2010, the Australian Government introduced the managed entry scheme (MES) to improve patient access to subsidised drugs on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and enhance the quality of evidence provided to decision makers. The aim of this paper was to critically review the Australian MES experience. We performed a comprehensive review of publicly available Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee online documents from January 2010 to July 2017. Relevant information on each MES agreement was systematically extracted, including its rationale, the conditions that guided its implementation and its policy outcomes. We identified 11 drugs where an MES was considered. Most of the identified drugs (75%) were antineoplastic agents and the main uncertainty was the overall survival benefit. More than half of the MES proposals were made by sponsors and most of the schemes were considered after previous rejected/deferred submissions for reimbursement. An MES was not established in 8 of 11 drugs (73%) despite the high evidence uncertainty. Nevertheless, six of these eight drugs were listed after the sponsors reduced their prices. Three MESs were established and implemented by Deeds of Agreement. The three cases were concluded and the required data were submitted within the agreed time frames. The need for feasibility and value of an MES should be carefully considered by stakeholders before embarking on such an agreement. It is essential to engage major stakeholders, including patient representatives, in this process. The conditions governing MESs should be clear, transparent and balanced to address the expectations of various stakeholders.



Haitham Tuffaha is supported by an Australian NHMRC fellowship (GNT1121232). The authors thank Elizabeth de Somer from Medicines Australia for her contribution to the manuscript.

Author Contributions

HWT and PAS contributed to the conception and planning of the manuscript. HWT extracted and analysed the data and drafted the manuscript. PAS contributed to data interpretation, critically reviewed the manuscript and approved the final submitted version. HWT is the guarantor for the overall content of this paper.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

Haitham Tuffaha and Paul Scuffham declare that they have no conflicts of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

Not applicable.

Informed consent

Not applicable.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Menzies Health Institute QueenslandGriffith UniversityGold CoastAustralia
  2. 2.Centre for Applied Health Economics, School of MedicineGriffith UniversityNathanAustralia

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