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Industry needs clarity to invest in Australia

Wednesday, 31 January 2018

Media Release

Medicines Australia welcomes the release of the 2030 plan by Innovation and Science Australia but seeks clarification on R&D tax incentive.

Milton Catelin, Chief Executive of Medicines Australia stressed the need to continue to improve Australia’s capabilities in innovation and commercialisation and welcomes the Governments renewed commitment to innovation as a driver of economic growth and prosperity.

“A long term vision is paramount in order to cement Australia as a top destination for investment in research and development in the latest breakthroughs, said Mr Catelin.

“We welcome the inclusion of genomics and precision medicines as a key component of an innovative future and the commitment to enhancing trade agreements,” he said.

“Medicines Australia does note that the 2030 plan makes a number of recommendations relating to Australia’s R&D tax incentive that differ from the Government’s 2016 report into the scheme, also led by Bill Ferris, with John Fraser and Alan Finkel.”

“Of particular interest are the 1% trigger to claim the non-refundable tax offset as well as the $4 million annual cap and $40 million lifetime cap on the refundable tax offset. Both of these recommendations are a change in position from the previous Ferris, Fraser, Finkel report.”

“Innovative pharmaceutical companies require long term certainty when making investment decisions in R&D, and, the ongoing uncertainty regarding the future of the R&D tax incentive remains a concern for Medicines Australia and the innovative medicines industry.”

“Medicines Australia, and our members will work through the detail of the plan and consider the impact for pharmaceutical industry growth and investment in Australia in order to brief members.”

“This will include ongoing work with our stakeholders to re-enforce the need to exempt medical research, such as clinical trials, from any future caps to overcome the potential unintended consequences that intensity thresholds may have on the biotechnology and pharmaceutical sector.”

“The recognition of exporting as a strategic opportunity for Australia through Free Trade Agreements is encouraging. Such agreements could offer the opportunity to align our intellectual property protection regime with those of our key trading partners and would boost Australia’s competitiveness and strengthen Australia’s reputation.”

“This will ensure that our members can continue to invest in the health of Australians,” said Mr Catelin.

 

Ends

More information  – Natalie Wimmer – 0450 728 660

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