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Strong IP, clinical trials key to future: McKeon report

Friday, 5 April 2013

Media Release

The landmark McKeon report released today sets out a decisive blueprint for the future of health and medical research in Australia, Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said.

Dr Shaw said the report’s recommendations to strengthen intellectual property and accelerate improvements to Australia’s clinical trials system would encourage global investment in R&D and lead to a better and more efficient healthcare system.

“This report carries the authority of Australia’s most eminent medical research scientists and business leaders,” Dr Shaw said.

“In particular, it reinforces the importance of a strong, stable and globally harmonised IP system. It exposes the short-sightedness of calls from other quarters to dismantle Australia’s patent system.

“This report focuses on encouraging Australia to do what it does best, which is innovating and creating knowledge.

“It acknowledges that ‘IP is clearly a valuable commodity in Australia’s knowledge-based economy, and skilful IP protection is necessary to ensure inventions are safeguarded’.

“Medicines Australia strongly supports the recommendations that Australia should not ban patents on biological materials nor make it easier to obtain compulsory licences. We strongly support the recommendation that the term of data exclusivity in Australia should align with global best practice.

“I also particularly welcome the report’s recommendations to accelerate the implementation of key reforms that will make Australia a more attractive place in which to invest in clinical trials.

“Significantly, the report recommends this work should be an urgent national priority.

“There has been minimal progress in implementing these reforms since they were announced two years ago. In the meantime, we have been losing trials to other countries.

“There is an urgent need for far greater political resolve both at Federal and State level to implement these key regulatory reforms.

“I congratulate Mr McKeon and his panel on the significant work they have undertaken to deliver such a thorough and comprehensive review.

“These recommendations are worthy of bi-partisan support and should be implemented expeditiously.”

-ENDS-

Contact Person:

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

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