Medicines Australia welcomes reform efforts to speed up clinical trials
4 March 2022: Australian patients will have improved access to clinical trials due to reforms to be introduced by the Australian Government following advocacy by Medicines Australia and other groups.
The ‘National One Stop Shop’ and the ‘National Clinical Trials Front Door’ reforms have just completed the first phase of consultation with peak bodies Medicines Australia (MA), AusBiotech, and the Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), via the R&D Taskforce. The co-chairs of the R&D Taskforce are David Wilks from Bristol Myers Squibb and Ana Svensson from NovoNordisk.
Medicines Australia CEO, Elizabeth de Somer, said these exciting reforms will significantly benefit patients and improve Australia’s international competitiveness in medical and scientific innovation.
“Clinical trials allow patients to gain early, no-cost access to innovative treatment across a broad range of diseases,” Ms de Somer said.
“They contribute to better healthcare outcomes and improvements in clinical practice.
“Currently, each state and territory have their own separate regulatory requirements, which create unnecessary duplication, complexity, and inconsistency.
“This dramatically slows down patient access to clinical trials and discourages international companies from engaging with Australia on innovation.
“The consultations on the National One Stop Shop and the National Clinical Trials Front Door are a real opportunity for change, and we welcome the completion of the first phase. It is great to see consensus across all jurisdictions for a single platform to harmonise the clinical trials landscape.”
Clinical trials create jobs and ensure medical breakthroughs are happening right here at home. In 2019, $1.4 billion was invested in clinical trials and at least 8,000 Australian jobs were supported by the clinical trials sector.
The goal of the National One Stop Shop and the Front Door is to make it easier for patients, researchers, industry representatives, and sponsors to find, conduct, participate, and invest in high-quality and ethical research in Australia.
To inform the development of the National One Stop Shop and the Front Door, the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Healthcare (ACSQH) is undertaking a two-phase consultation in partnership with all Australian jurisdictions. The Commission has provided an update on the first phase of consultation, which highlights broad support for a single platform to replace other national and jurisdictional systems.
Ms de Somer said the first phase of the consultation has been comprehensive, engaging a broad range of stakeholders, and she looks forward to the next phase.
“Along with AusBiotech and MTAA, Medicines Australia congratulates the Government on the progress in the consultations which promise to be a much-needed win for Australian innovation.
“The R&D Taskforce will continue to engage with the consultations and other harmonisation initiatives that improve access for patients and boosts Australia’s international competitiveness in clinical trials once and for all,” Ms de Somer said.
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About Medicines Australia
Medicines Australia leads the research-based medicines industry of Australia. Our members discover, develop and manufacture prescription pharmaceutical products, biotherapeutic products and vaccines that bring health, social and economic benefits to Australia. Our members invest in Australian medical research and take local discoveries and developments to the world.
Our mission is to drive policy outcomes in partnership with government, health sector organisations and the community which will ensure Australians have universal, affordable, and fast access to treatments that keep pace with advancements in medicine.
About the R&D Taskforce
Since 2006, the R&D Taskforce has been a unique forum for developing, evaluating, and providing expert advice to Government on issues affecting clinical research in Australia. The co-chairs of the R&D Taskforce are David Wilks from Bristol Myers Squibb and Ana Svensson from NovoNordisk.
Convened by Medicines Australia, AusBiotech and the Medical Technology Association of Australia, the R&D Taskforce brings together senior executives from the peak bodies and companies representing the industry sectors, including the research-based and the biotechnology sector. In addition, these sectors are among the Australian health system’s most crucial components: they research, develop, manufacture and supply products that Australians use to lead healthier and more productive lives.
The R&D Taskforce is committed to working with all stakeholders to ensure that our clinical research industry remains a strong contributor to this country’s economy and to the health and wellbeing of all Australians.
About the National One Stop Shop and National Clinical Trials Front Door
The goal of the National One Stop Shop and National Clinical Trials Front Door is to make it easier for patients, researchers, industry representatives and sponsors to find, conduct, participate and invest in high quality and ethical research in Australia.
To find out more, visit the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care website.