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Government urged to defend Australian jobs

Friday, 30 January 2009

Media Release

The Government can help defend Australia’s pharmaceuticals industry against further job losses by implementing recommendations of the Pharmaceuticals Industry Strategy Group’s Final Report, Medicines Australia Chief Executive Ian Chalmers said today.

The report to Government was released today by the Minister for Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Senator Kim Carr.

It recommends that Government set up a strategic industry investment fund to support major pharmaceutical manufacturing and R&D activity. It also recommends measures to reverse Australia’s declining global competitiveness as a destination for clinical trials.

“I urge the Government to implement the recommendations of this report without delay. These measures will help defend Australia’s pharmaceuticals industry from further job losses and contribute to its long-term viability,” Mr Chalmers said.

“Government inaction on this issue, especially at this time of economic stress, could have heavy consequences for the industry and for Australian jobs.

“The pharmaceuticals industry employs 40,000 Australians in high-value jobs. The industry invests $860 million a year in research and development, and exports $4 billion worth of products a year. That is a major contribution to the national economy.

“Over the past 18 months, more than 500 Australians working in the pharmaceuticals industry have already been made redundant.

“The PISG Report recommendations can help protect against further job losses. They will also help ensure that the pharmaceutical industry continues to contribute significantly to the Australian economy.”

Mr Chalmers congratulated Senator Carr on establishing the Pharmaceutical Industry Strategy Group in May 2008 and on recognising the value of pharmaceutical innovation.

“I commend Senator Carr for instituting this review. This initiative demonstrates foresight and underscores a well-known commitment by the Minister to a viable pharmaceuticals industry in Australia.

“I now call on the Government to quickly implement the PISG recommendations which will help protect Australian jobs and keep Australia’s pharmaceuticals industry viable.”

The report to Government was developed by a panel of industry experts, including senior executives from the biotech, generic and innovative pharmaceuticals industries, as well as representatives of employee groups.

–ENDS–

Contact Person:

Jamie Nicholson
Media Communications Manager
Phone: 0419 220 293
Email:
Jamie.Nicholson@medicinesaustralia.com.au

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