Friday, September 14, 2007

Understanding the issue

In order for me to be able to successfully execute this assignment I need to:
Understand all the issues
Highlight the pro's
Highlight the con's
This cannot be achieved unless I fully explore the background of the issue and the broader picture.

Some ideas that I initially brainstormed are listed below.

Addressing Political parties
Whats the parties agenda?
What motivated them?
What past roles/associations have they played in the PBS
How much credibility do they have in this area?
What are they're affiliations with those associated with PBS? Or with any people whom may influence directly or indirectly on the PBS?

Why should they (key players)endorse/include the CSUPharma type two diabetes drug on the PBS?
The effects of type two diabetes and how it affects patients quality of life.
Reasons why type two diabetes medication is so important. Does it provide increased quality of life for patients? If so how?

Percentage of the population affected
The predicted rise in numbers of those affected and what pressure that will place on the medial system.
Projected future costs to the government when you factor in the increased number of people affected.
Percentage of patients using type two diabetes medications.


What are the current medications available for type two diabetes?
What do the current medications purport to do?
What are the side effects of current medications?
What are the costs of current medications?

What makes CSUPharma's drug better than other diabetes type two medications

VERY IMPORTANT: Keep in mind that Diabetes Type Two is a life long illness and therefore patients are on this medication for life.

Is it better than the old medication?
Does it have less side effects?
Does it have better glucose control?
Does it have a good safety history?
Has it been safety tested over many year?

When speaking with key political parties you need to appeal to their:

Political agenda
Social Conscience
Public Perception
Social Responsibility
Compelling facts
Financial implications

Finally I wish to focus on the significance of the disease. Positioning diabetes as an endemic (subject to statistics) disease that no member of society should have to suffer and that it is the role of the government to assist those affected.

Factors to Consider When Approaching Political Parties

The primary goal of political parties is to win elections.

When approaching a political party for support you need to:
Identify and prioritie ideas for their political party

Things you need to factor in when dealing with political parties:
Publicity (media and advertising)
Public servants

Keep in mind:
The formation of public policy is just one of a number of strategies used by political parties to appeal to voters.
Each political party has its own rules for policy fomulation.

Local Member of Parliament

Malcolm Bligh Turnball
Local Member for Wentworth and the Federal Minister for the Environment and Water resources.

He is a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives, representing the Division of Wentworth in Sydney's Easter Suburbs since October 2005.

Prior to his political career he was a barrister, merchant banker and leader of the Australian Republican Movement.

Malcolm grew up in Vaucluse and Double Bay in the 1950s and 1960s. His father, Bruce, was a single parent for much of Malcolm's childhood.

Malcolm was educated at Vaucluse Public School and Sydney Grammar School. Malcolm's high school education at Sydney Grammar was assisted by a scholarship.

Malcolm graduated from Sydney University with a BA LLB.

He won a Rhodes Scholarship and completed a further law degree at Oxford.

During and after his studies at Sydney University, Malcolm worked as a journalist with the Bulletin, 2SM, TCN 9 and the London Sunday Times.

After a successful career in journalism Malcolm began practicing law in 1980. He quickly established a reputation as an effective advocate, most notably when he successfully defended former MI5 agent Peter Wright against the British Government, in the "Spycatcher" trial.

Malcolm left law for business in 1987 where he has since been responsible for the establishment and success of many Australian businesses. In particular he has been a determined supporter of Australian technology. He co-founded OzEmail in 1994. His software companies have won many awards for exporting Australian technology.

In 1997 Malcolm was elected to attend the Australian Constitutional Convention. He led the republican case in that Convention and in the subsequent referendum. Malcolm has initiated numerous policy and research projects in areas such as:
indigenous affairs
home ownership affordability
balancing work and family responsibilities
national population
fertility policy.
He has been Chair of the Menzies Research Centre since 2001.

Malcolm was a member of the Joint Standing Committee on Foreign Affairs, Defence and Trade and the House of Representatives Standing Committees on Economics, Health and Ageing and Legal and Constitutional Affairs.

Malcolm was elected as the Federal Member for Wentworth at the general election on 9 October, 2004.

Malcolm has had a long interest in water policy and water conservation in particular.

Malcolm was appointed Minister for the Environment and Water Resources on 30 January 2007 having held the position of Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister since 27 January 2006.

Political Background
Turnbull first ran for Liberal Party preselection for the seat of Wentworth in 1981, but was beaten by Peter Coleman.

In 2003 Turnbull announced that he was seeking a seat in federal Parliament
In early 2004 he won another hotly contested preselection battle for Wentworth, defeating Peter King, the sitting Liberal member.

This was a traditionally safe Liberal electorate that turned into an electoral wildcard, the contest for the seat becoming a three man race between Turnbull, King and Labor candidate David Patch. During the campaign, Turnbull spent over $600,000 on electoral expenditure. The Liberal vote fell 10 percent, but Turnbull still won.

Political Background
Since his election Turnbull has made a series of speeches on economic matters, particularly taxation, which some commentators have seen as implied criticisms of the policies of the Treasurer, Peter Costello, although Turnbull denies this.
Announcing his cabinet reshuffle on 24 January 2006, Australian Prime Minister John Howard promoted Turnbull from the backbench to Parliamentary Secretary, with special responsibility for water. In this new capacity he reports directly to the Prime Minister.
On 26 September 2006 John Howard announced the creation, within the department of the Prime Minister, of the new "Office of Water Resources" to address the problem of drought in Australia. Turnbull was in charge of this office.

Turnabll was then elevated by Prime Minister John Howard to head the Environment and Water Resources portfolio in January 2007.
FY: In February 2007 Turnbull was criticised for claiming a government allowance of $175 a night and giving it to his wife as rent while living in a townhouse in Canberra, that she owns.

Minister for Health and Ageing

I find that summaries of the main key players helps me to more readily identify their motivation, which in turn helps me to appeal to their social conscience and political views.

So just thought I would share some of the summaries that I have put together. The information below can all be found at Tony Aboott's home page.


Tony Abott was appointed Minister for Health and Ageing on the 7 October 2007.

He was elected Member for Warringah at a by-election in March 1994.

Prior to entering Parliament he was Executive Director of Australians for Constitutional Monarchy from 1993-1994.

From 1990-1993 he was press Secretary and political advisor to the Leader of the Opposition, Dr John Hewson.

His previous career was in journalism, where he wrote as a feature writer for 'The Bulletin' and 'The Australian'.

He was a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University.

Completed Economics/Law at Sydney University

Went to school at St Ignatius Riverview

Political Career

On the election of the Howard Government in 1996 he was appointment Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Employment, Education, Training and Youth Affairs. In this role he was responsible for the establishment of the successful Greencorps program for young people.

Following the 1998 election he was appointed to the new portfolio of Minister for Employment Services. As minister, he oversaw the development of the Job Network and a major expansion of Work for the Dole.

In January 2001 Tony was promoted to Cabinet as Minister for Employment, Workplace Relations and Small Business. Following the 2001 election he was appointed Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Leader of the House and Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service.

Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme

The Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) along with Medicare, is a key component of Australia's healthy system.

The PBS provides access to necessary and lifesaving medicines at an affordable price.

Increasingly the PBS has been the subject of greater scrutiny as the cost of providing subsidised medicines to all Australians has escalated.

The PBS has been in operations for more than 50 years with some benefits first being made available in June 1948.

The PBS has evolved from supplying a limited number of 'life saving and disease preventing drugs' free of charge to the community, into a broader subsidise scheme which from 1 May 2002, provides subsidised access to over 590 generic drugs, available in more than 1460 forms, and marketed as over 2500 different drug brands.

What is the PBS
Many types of medicine cost much more than the price you pay - some coast hundred of dollar. The Government pays most of it for you. The government does this through the pharmaceutical benefits scheme.

How much does PBS contribute?
PBS contribution amounts as at 1 January 2007
General Patients $30.70
Concession card holders $4.90
DVA $4.90

If you have a DVA White Card for specific conditions accepted by DVA you will pay $4.90 otherwise you pay the general amount.

If you chose a more expensive brand of medicine, or if your doctor prescribes one, the extra amount you pay won't count towards your PBS safety net (see below for details on the PBS safety net)

Who is eligible for PBS?
All Australian residents

Eligible people from Italy, New Zealand, the Republic of Ireland, Finland, Norway, Malta, the Netherlands, Sweden and the United Kingdom

Current Payment Arrangements
The maximum cost for a pharmaceutical benefit item on the PBS is currently $23.10 for general patients and $3.70 for concessional patients (health care cardholders and pensioners)

Safety Net Arrangements
Individuals and families are protected from large overall expenses for PBS listed medicines by 'safety nets' whereby expenditure is subsidised or free once a certain threshold of expenditure is exceeded.
The general patient safety net threshold is currently $708.40. When patients and/or their families reach this amount in a calender year, they can apply for a Safety net concession card and pay only $3.70 per prescription for the rest of the calender year.

Pharmaceutical Allowance (PA)
All pensioners (including part pensioners, Veteran Affairs beneficiaries, sickness allowees and other older long term allowees, including parenting allowees over 60 and receiving income support for at least 9 months) receive a pharmaceutical allowance of $2.90 per week payable fortnightly or $150.80 a year.

The PA helps to defray their out-of-pocket pharmaceutical expenses.

How a Drug is Listed on the PBS
Prior to listing on PBS, a drug must first be assessed for its safety, quality and efficacy by the Australian Drug Evaluation Committee (ADEC) of the Therapeutics Goods Administration.

If ADEC recommends that the drug should be available for sale in Australia, a sponsor usually the drug company - but sponsors can also include; medical bodies, health professionals, private individuals or their Representatives - applies to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Advisory Committee (PBAC) for listing on the PBS.

The PBAC assesses the evidence on the drug's effectiveness, including its cost e
effectiveness, and advises the Minister for Health and Ageing if the drug should be listed on the PBS.

If the Minister accepts the recommendation of the PBAC, the drug is then referred to the Pharmaceutical Benefits Pricing Authority PBPA which negotiates with the manufacturerer on the price at which the drug will be listed on the PBS and advises the Minister accordingly.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Slow Starter

Good Evening All,

Hope everyone is well and loving their work opportunities.

I am sure it is no surprise to many of you that I am a little late at setting up my post. But as they say, better late than never.

Really loving the whole interactive learning space, it is the first time I have ever enjoyed using technology!

As of about 6 weeks ago I have taken up a full time position at Hill and Knowlton working as an Assistant Account Executive for The Commonwealth Bank and Etihad Airways.

If anyone wants to apply for a position later down the track or is looking for an internship it is an amazing place to work and the client opportunities are fantastic.

I will be honest we get a recruitment fee if you join so if you are thinking of applying.... would love for you to send the application via me at as we are given referral fees for passing on the resume.

Ok so now that i have plugged H&K, our clients and set up the possibility of a referral fee in the future i will limit my posts strictly to COM318 discussions.

Happy Blogging x