November has been a very big month for Migraine Australia, including the first round of meetings with politicians and pharma companies.
RK visited parliament house and met a number of key politicians last Monday. She met with:
- Sharon Bird (member for Wollongong)
- Senator Hollie Hughes (NSW, Liberal)
- Stirling Griff (SA, Centre Alliance’s health spokesperson)
- A senior advisor to Michael Sukkar, who is the minister with oversight of the ABS, about getting migraine in their research
- Senior advisor to Chris Bowen (Shadow Health Minister)
- Chief of Staff and a senior policy advisor to Health Minister Greg Hunt
A very special note of thanks to our strongest advocate in the Government, Senator Hollie Hughes, for allowing RK to rest in her office between meetings.
While this first visit is just about establishing relationships, we were able to secure a couple of wins: the one we can tell you about now is that there will be a migraine block in the Intergenerational National Health Study to be conducted by the ABS.
RK also met with representatives from Lilly (makers of Emgality), Teva (makers of Ajovy), and Lundbeck, who are acquiring Alder (who make the not yet released Epti anti-CGRP infusion).
All these meetings were very warm and positive, with all the companies committed to getting all the new medications on the PBS. They understand that the drugs work for different people, and are not being competitive about getting them into the market – they want all of them to be in the migraine toolbox. We are also all in agreement that there is something very odd going on at PBAC!
We are about to enter into a new phase of our life with our new board meeting for the first time on Wednesday. Stay tuned for news of who is on the board and other developments on the PBS front.