International Clinical Trials Day Media release

Today marks international Clinical Trials Day. It is a time to recognise the contribution clinical trials make to the global efforts to find discover and develop the latest breakthrough medicines and vaccines, as well as celebrating some remarkable advances in Australian medical science.

Medicines Australia Chairman, MrWes Cook, said Medicines Australia members conduct around 600-700 trials nationally each year in partnership with hospitals, universities and other research institutions.

“Clinical trials benefit Australian patients because they allow faster access to new treatments”, Mr Cook said.

“Clinical trials bring health professionals together to deliver better care for patients, while Australia’s scientists, doctors, nurses and specialists also benefit through their exposure to the very latest methods of treatment.”

“Clinical trials also boost the economy, with innovative projects supporting thousands of jobs in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM),” Mr Cook said.

Australia enjoys one of the highest life expectancies in the world. Between 2003-2011, the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) recorded a 15% reduction in the fatal burden of disease.

“These gains remind us of the role that advances in modern medicine play in reducing the overall burden of disease and premature deaths”, Mr Cook said.

Other studies in Australia have found that investment in new, innovative medicines significantly impact on cancer survival rates and reduce hospital expenditure by around $7 billion per year.

Many are surprised to learn that it takes around 12-15 years for a new therapy to go from discovery to launch.

“Here in Australia we need to continue to reform the regulatory environment for clinical trials. The processes and red tape in setting up and getting clinical trials started is still too long and too complex. These processes need further streamlining and simplification so that new and better treatments can be offered to patients faster” Mr Cook said.

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) together with Medicines Australia, AusBiotech and Research Australia are hosting a special event to celebrate Australian leadership and excellence in clinical trials. The inaugural ACTA Trial of the Year Award will be presented in Melbourne today, making international Clinical Trials day a day to celebrate.

“Clinical trials continue to evolve and it is important, on this day, to celebrate excellence in new approaches and technologies that deliver so much for the Australian community”, Mr Cook said.


James Boyce
Phone: 0423 239 265