QUM in Australian public hospitals

Who we are

CATAG is the peak national body facilitating Quality Use of Medicines (QUM) within Australia’s public hospitals and state/ territory health systems.

CATAG comprises of representative from:

  • NSW Therapeutic Advisory Group
  • ACT Health
  • Tasmanian Medicines Access and Advisory Committee (TMAAC)
  • Northern Territory Department of Health
  • Queensland Health Medicines Advisory Committee (QHMAC)
  • South Australian Medicines Advisory Committee (SAMAC)
  • Victorian Therapeutics Advisory Group (VicTAG)
  • Western Australian Therapeutics Advisory Group (WATAG)

What we do

We aim to improve medicines management and use within the framework of the National Medicines Policy as it applies to clinical practice in Australian hospitals and at the interfaces of care.

We promote the equitable, safe, cost-effective and quality use of medicines, to optimise medicines management and use in the public sector and wider community, with the objective of realising the best possible health outcomes for all Australians. CATAG supports and promotes national information sharing and provides advice to the hospital sector on strategic medicines issues. CATAG has published a number of resources addressing medicines governance within public hospitals.

High cost and high volume medicines represent significant and increasing expenditures for national and state and territory governments. Currently more than 20% of PBS expenditure is attributed to PBS medicines utilization by Australian hospitals.  CATAG is the national advisory body for hospital/ health district Drug and Therapeutic Committees (DTCs), multidisciplinary committees of doctors, pharmacists, nurses and health service administrators with responsibilities for the overall governance of the medicines management system within their health service organization. DTC activities aim to ensure the judicious, appropriate, safe, effective and cost-effective use of medicines. CATAG supports the current National Health Reform agenda that envisions a consistent nationally cohesive health technology assessment process.

CATAG is uniquely placed to support QUM in the acute care sector as there is no other national collaboration or organization which has broad insight into hospital medicines utilisation.  It has an unique ability to support broad medicines governance initiatives and respond to medicines policy implementation issues. CATAG is independent and acutely aware of QUM issues and the cost pressures faced by governments, policy decision makers, individual healthcare organisations and clinicians.

Terms of Reference
Download CATAG Terms of Reference in Adobe PDF format

History and Achievements

The first Joint Meeting of the Therapeutics Advisory Groups was held in February 2005.The name “Council of Australian Therapeutics Advisory Groups” was formally adopted in September 2008.

CATAG develops overarching guidance for areas or issues where there is an absence or limited national guidance. States and Territories have embedded CATAG guidance into their policies and protocols (see Development of advice)

Authoritative contributions to policy development and debate. CATAG has extensively advocated for and advised on the importance of having a nationally coordinated approach to horizon scanning and the sharing of Health Technology Assessments through a number of avenue.  CATAG responds to significant developments in S100 medicines access resulting from Commonwealth Policy initiatives. CATAG provides key insights into the application of high cost medicine utilization including eculizumab and Hepatitis C medicines

PBS post market review and DUSC submissions. CATAG has made a number of submissions to PBS post-market reviews and provided key insights into medicine utilisation through DUSC submissions


CATAG is funded by NPS MedicineWise together with in kind resources provided by the CATAG member organisations.



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