MS Research Australia, in conjunction with MS Australia, advocates on behalf of people with MS to certain government agencies and other regulatory bodies. Although MS impacts people differently, there are common, fundamental issues for people affected by the disease.
While MS Australia is the peak body for national advocacy for people with MS in Australia. MS Research Australia supports and collaborates with MS Australia in this work. However, MS Research Australia is also committed to ensuring that the research findings and research evidence are translated into better outcomes for all people with MS. To this end MS Research Australia makes advocacy submissions (scroll to the bottom of the page to view our submissions) to relevant public consultations from a range of sources including:
- Government departments aiming to change legislation about healthcare, access to treatments and services, and support for medical research (e.g. House of Representatives Standing Committees, the Commonwealth or State Departments of Health).
- Therapeutic Goods Association (TGA) which decides whether a medication can be prescribed in Australia and the conditions under which they can be prescribed.
- Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Council (PBAC) which makes recommendations as to whether a medication should be made available through the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) and is therefore eligible for subsidy from the Australian government.
MS Research Australia also liaises directly with government and state-based funding bodies to advocate for an increased focus on research and better treatments for people with MS, including:
- National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC) the national funding body for health and medical research in Australia.
- Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) which will provide grants to support health and medical research and innovation from 2017 onwards. These grants will aim to translate research findings into clinical practice, with the objective of improving the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
- Commonwealth Government Department of Health – an important and long term national funding partner organisation of MS Research Australia.
- State Government Health and Medical Research Departments
MS Research Australia works collaboratively with other like-minded charities including via The Australian Immunological Alliance.
Globally, MS Research Australia is involved in research advocacy activities for people with MS, via the following strategic alliances, membership and/or endorsements;
- Multiple Sclerosis International Federation (MSIF)
- International Progressive MS Alliance
- MS Brain Health: Time Matters in MS – Global Health Initiative
Please see below recent consultation responses made by MS Research Australia
Federal and State Government enquiries
- Senate Community Affairs References Committee inquiry into the availability and accessibility of diagnostic imaging equipment around Australia
- Cannabis use for medical purposes act bill
- Joint Submission Queensland parliament inquiry into medicinal cannabis bill July 2016
- Victorian law reform commissions medicinal cannabis issues paper April 2015
Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee
Therapeutic Goods Administration
- MS Research Australia submission Black triangle scheme
- Regulation of autologous cell and tissue therapies October 2016
- Cannabinoids rescheduling TGA February 2016 joint submission
- CTN submission regarding adoption of EMA guidelines
- Submission consultation on regulation of autologous stem cell treatments March 2015
National Health and Medical Research Council/Medical Research Future Fund
- Joint letter MS Research Australia/JDRF/Asthma Australia on MRFF strategy and priorities
- MRFF Priorities submission two year priority
- MRFF strategy submission five year strategy
- NHMRC structural review submission
- Response MRFF amendments