As a major participant and contributor to Australian healthcare, Sigma actively seeks to engage in and influence industry discussions to contribute to maintaining a viable, dynamic, and equitable healthcare system.
Sigma engages on a number of levels, including directly with Government and industry representatives, and also through industry bodies including:
- National Pharmaceuticals Services Association (NPSA)
- The Australian Industry Group (AIG)
- The National E-Health Transition Authority (NEHTA)
- The Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILTA)
- Australian Investor Relations Association of Australia (AIRA)
The Australian healthcare industry is widely regarded as being world-class, delivering a broadly efficient and effective health service to the Australian community. Sigma plays a critical role in supporting the industry to deliver better health and wellbeing for the community, and in supporting the Government’s National Medicines Policy.
The Federal Government spends approximately 9-10% of GDP on health. The Government’s health policy objectives are underpinned by the National Medicines Policy, which has at its core the following central objectives:
- timely access to the medicines that Australians need, at a cost individuals and the community can afford;
- medicines meeting appropriate standards of quality, safety and efficacy;
- quality use of medicines; and
- maintaining a responsible and viable medicines industry.
The import and supply of medicines and medical devices is regulated by the Commonwealth Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) to ensure the quality, safety and effectiveness of the products. Medicines or pharmaceuticals prescribed by doctors and dispensed in the community by independent private sector pharmacies are directly subsidised by the Commonwealth Pharmaceuticals Benefits Scheme (PBS). Public hospitals provide medicines free of charge and do not attract PBS subsidies. Non-prescription medicines are available from pharmacies.
Australia has a land mass roughly the size of Western Europe or the USA (excluding Alaska). Whilst around 80% of the population live near major cities, the remainder of the population is widely dispersed in rural and regional areas of Australia, requiring critical infrastructure to meet the community needs and Government policy objectives.
Sigma is a critical enabler in the healthcare system. As a wholesaler, our distribution centres receive over 265 million units from pharmaceutical manufacturers which are picked and dispatched in more than 12 million totes and cartons in any year.
Sigma continues to actively engage with Government agencies and representative bodies to ensure we maintain a strong voice and presence in the industry.