Clinical trial national approach will benefit patients and our economy
20 July 2021: Medicines Australia welcomes the clinical trial ‘one-stop-shop’ consultation, recently announced by the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care.
Clinical trials in Australia are a significant enabler for faster access for patients and make an important contribution to the economy but we require a consistent, national approach to remain competitive. This newly launched consultation presents an opportunity to achieve a national, interconnected, rapid and streamlined pathway for attracting clinical trials to our shores.
The COVID-19 pandemic drew the world’s attention to the benefits of clinical trials. These have been well documented, such as job creation, better health outcomes for patients and an increased body of scientific knowledge and medical innovation. In 2019, the biopharmaceutical industry is estimated to have invested over $1 billion in Australia for clinical trials.
Australia has been an attractive environment for clinical trials and R&D, but many large companies stumble at the first hurdle due to the inconsistent processes between the different states and territories.
Last night, Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, spoke on ABC Nightlife and says that clinical trials remain a crucial path to bring innovative drugs, vaccines and therapies to patients in Australia in a safe and regulated manner.
“Clinical trials are critical for a lot of Australian patients, important for our economy and increase our R&D capabilities. We must make our country a more attractive option for international investment,” she said.
Medicines Australia has been working with the Government to harmonise these arrangements, which were also supported by the Minister for Health, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, during his CEDA address in June last year. Since then, considerable progress has been made on this commitment by The Research & Development Task Force (R&DTF), a multi-sector collaboration between Medicines Australia, AusBioTech and the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA). The one-stop-shop consultation is the next step in this vital work.
Elizabeth was joined on the ABC Nightlife program by clinical trial participant Karen Van Gorp and Professor Meg Jardine, Director of Sydney University Clinical Trials Centre.
A recording of the interview is available on the ABC website.