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International Clinical Trials Day

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Media Release

Australia is a centre of excellence in clinical research, but our ability to continue attracting clinical trials to Australia is under threat, Medicines Australia said today.

“Australia is at the cutting edge of clinical research but our long-term attractiveness as a location for clinical trials is under threat from emerging economies such as India, China, Russia and Brazil,” Dr Brendan Shaw, Medicines Australia Chief Executive, said today.

“Australia’s pharmaceutical industry plays a crucial role in conducting clinical trials in Australia, and a lot of this is in collaboration with Australia’s hospitals and universities.”

“This has been a great collaboration that has brought health and economic benefits to Australia.”

“Patients also benefit from the Australian industry conducting clinical trials here by gaining access to new treatments that are in clinical development.”

“However, we are starting to see a down turn in the number of clinical trials being conducted in Australia at the same time as countries like India and China are starting to attract more R&D from the global pharmaceutical industry.”

“We need to ensure that we can maintain and grow a sufficient level of clinical trial activity or we risk losing our brightest minds offshore and seeing research facilities close.”

The Government is currently pursuing a number of activities that could encourage clinical trial activity in Australia, such as the Clinical Trials Action Group, currently co-chaired by the Hon Mark Butler, Parliamentary Secretary for Health, and the Hon Richard Marles, Parliamentary Secretary for Innovation.

“There are a number of regulatory barriers that act like a handbrake on clinical trials that we hope the Action Group will be able to resolve.”

“Compared to a number of other countries, in Australia there is a lack of coordination between the states for ethical approval of clinical trials, the time to get clinical trials established is too long, and the methods for recruiting patients to clinical trials are outdated.”

“We are hopeful that the Clinical Trials Action Group will provide real outcomes that remove some of the regulatory barriers that dissuade companies from conducting work in Australia.”

“The Government’s R&D tax credit will also provide a useful incentive for clinical trials work in Australia.”

–ENDS–

Contact Person:

Donna Edman
Executive Director Public Affairs
Phone: 0419 850 174
Email:
donna.edman@medicinesaustralia.com.au

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