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BioBreakfast: Access to innovation through sustainable universal healthcare systems – Pulling back the curtain on the PBS

February 16, 2018 @ 7:30 am - 9:00 am AEDT

LIMITED PLACES REMAINING – to register, please email npitcher@biomelbourne.org or call 9667 8181

Since its inception in the 1940s, successive Australian Governments have implemented a suite of reforms to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), so that it continues to provide universal access to medicines, remains responsive to Australia’s changing healthcare needs and is financially sustainable. These reforms have also created a complex system that is not always well understood by many Australian’s outside of the medicines industry or Government.

Join BioMelbourne Network to “pull back the curtain on the PBS”. This breakfast event, sponsored by GlaxoSmithKline and ViiV Healthcare, will explore the complexity of the Australian healthcare system, decision-making processes regarding medicines and some of the key policy tensions within the current PBS system.

The event will include a keynote address from GSK Australia General Manager Anne Belcher to launch a joint GSK and ViiV Healthcare project which supports greater understanding of, and engagement with, the PBS.

BioMelbourne Network CEO Dr Krystal Evans will also lead a discussion with a diverse panel of stakeholders to ascertain their expectations and perspectives on the future of the PBS and Australia’s future healthcare needs.

Date:                     Friday 16th February 2017
Time:                    Registrations from 7:20am for a 7.30am networking breakfast. Presentation and panel discussion: 8:00am – 9:00am
Venue:                 The Cube, ACMI Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square Melbourne

BioMelbourne Network Members: $65 (incl. GST)
Non Members: $130 (incl. GST)

To check if your organisation is a member, click here

Cancellation Policy:
Full refund is given up to 7 days prior to the event
No refunds within 7 days of the event

About the speaker:

Anne Belcher, General Manager, GSK Australia

Anne Belcher has 27 years business experience including 25 years at GSK.  She has experience and success in diverse market environments including both mature and developing markets and worked in New Zealand, Singapore, Indonesia, South Korea and Belgium in both local and regional roles.

Most recently, Anne Belcher was Head of Ethics and Compliance across Emerging Markets, Asia Pacific and Japan to strengthen commercial insight and business partnering in the function.  Previously she held the position of General Manager of the Indonesian Pharmaceutical business, leading a team of approximately 1000 employees.

Originally from New Zealand, Anne is a registered Pharmacist and joined GSK as a sales representative in New Zealand in 1991.


Prof. Andrew Wilson Chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee

Andrew is the chair of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee and Co-Director of the Menzies Centre for Health Policy, University of Sydney. He leads the Australian Prevention Partnership Centre. His research interests concern the application of epidemiology to informing decision making in clinical medicine, public health, and health service policy and planning especially in chronic disease prevention and management.


Elizabeth de Somer, Director, Policy and Research from Medicines Australia

Elizabeth de Somer has over 20 years’ experience in healthcare and pharmaceutical health policy including drug development, clinical research, manufacturing, drug safety, regulatory affairs, and medicines and vaccines health policy.

Elizabeth also contributes her clinical and industry expertise to a number of expert committees providing advice to Government, including representing the industry on the sub-committees to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) [the Economic Sub-Committee ESC and Drug Utilisation Sub-Committees DUSC].

Elizabeth’s academic qualifications lie in medical sciences and drug development, which lead her to provide occasional lectures on drug development, regulation of medicines, quality use of medicines and the policy environment affecting access to medicines in Australia.

Elizabeth is the Director of Policy and Research at Medicines Australia, the peak body representing research-based pharmaceutical companies in Australia, where she leads collaboration with government and the development of sound policies to support access to prescription medicines for Australian patients.

Penny Shakespeare, First Assistant Secretary, Technology Assessment and Access Division, Department of Health

Penny Shakespeare joined the Department of Health in 2006 and is currently the First Assistant Secretary, Technology Assessment and Access Division.  Penny is responsible for policy and programs to support access to medicines, pharmacy services, private health insurance, medical devices, blood and blood products, human tissue and organ donation.  This includes supporting the health technology assessment processes of the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee, the Medical Benefits Advisory Committee, and the Prostheses List Advisory Committee.

Since joining the Department, Penny has held a number of senior leadership positions including First Assistant Secretary of Health Workforce Division and as head of the Department’s Medical Benefits Branch and Private Health Insurance Branch.

Prior to joining the Department of Health, Penny worked as an industrial relations lawyer in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, and in regulatory policy roles, including as head of the ACT Office of Industrial Relations. She was a member of the National Occupational Health and Safety Commission and the Workplace Relations Ministers’ Advisory Council.

Penny has a Bachelor of Laws, a Masters degree in International Law and is admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor.

Dr Christine Walker, CEO, Chronic Illness Alliance

Dr Christine Walker is currently the CEO of the Chronic Illness Alliance Inc., a peak body representing fifty consumer and advocacy organisations for people with chronic illness.

She is a member of the Committee of Management of the Epilepsy Foundation Victoria, a member of the Board of National Prescribing Service, a member of Australian Commission for Safety and Quality in Health Care Primary Care Subcommittee, a member of the Melbourne Genomic Health Alliance, a member of the Independent Advisory Committee for the Personally Controlled Electronic Health Record (PCEHR) and a member of the Advisory Group of UNSW Research Centre for Primary Health Care and Equity.

Previously, Dr Christine Walker completed her PhD thesis which explored the growth of government intervention in the hospital system in Victoria. She has experience in qualitative research and manages a longitudinal study on the social impact of epilepsy. Further, she has published extensively on issues of chronic illness, with her two most recent edited books being on social issues in epilepsy.



February 16, 2018
7:30 am - 9:00 am
Event Category:


BioMelbourne Network
+61 3 9667 8181


The Cube, ACMI, Australian Centre for the Moving Image,
Federation Square,
Melbourne, , VIC 3000 Australia
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