Australia needs certainty

8 Jan 2021

The outgoing US ambassador has backed the AMA’s call for Australia to secure critical supplies of medicines and medical goods. 

In his final interview before leaving the country, Arthur Culvahouse said the “Five Eyes” nations — Australia, Canada, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and the US — alongside allies including Japan and India should work together to create alternative sources of supply for critical minerals, medical goods and pharmaceuticals. 

Dr Khorshid said the country’s doctors had long been concerned about the supply of critical medications, which had left shortages of basic medicines even before the pandemic. 

“COVID has really exposed how little we manufacture here in Australia, and how exposed we are to trade shocks,” he said. 

“We certainly need to do more to secure our stocks of medicines.” 

Dr Khorshid said the country in the first instance must do better at tracking supplies of key medicines and there needed to be more stockpiling to prevent shortages.