McKeon Review on the money with health and medical research

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw today welcomed the release of the consultation paper for the McKeon Review of Health and Medical Research.

“We are encouraged by the McKeon Review’s recognition of the importance of clinical research both as generator of economic benefit, but more importantly as a generator of health benefits for Australian patients, and the recognition of the important role the medicines industry plays in this,” Dr Shaw said.

“The recommendations to drive more collaboration in the health and medical research sector and encourage greater interaction with industry are important recommendations that warrant further attention.

“Coming on the back of similar sentiments in the report from the Prime Minister’s Manufacturing Taskforce, clearly there is more work Australia needs to do to get industry, health and research sectors working together better.

“It’s an important reform if Australia is going to capitalise on its medical research capabilities in the future.

“We’re also particularly supportive of the recommendation to expedite the implementation of key reforms to improve the efficiency and cost-effectiveness of conducting clinical trials in Australia. It’s a wake-up call on reforms everyone acknowledges are important but have yet to be finalised. This will help reverse this country’s rapidly declining competitiveness as a destination for global investment in clinical trials.

“The recommendation to dramatically reduce the number of ethics committees and to streamline the ethics and research governance review processes will make it simpler and more cost-effective to start a new trial in Australia.

“Medical research in Australia will be further helped by a commitment to embed a culture of research and innovation in the health system. This is important because as long as research remains an optional activity for health care institutions it will always play second fiddle to primary healthcare.

“Investing in research has been shown to have a direct and positive impact on health outcomes. Investing three per cent of the national health budget on medical research will help embed a research culture into the broader health system.”


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