Medicines Australia welcomes trade and investment growth recommendations

Medicines Australia welcomes the recommendations of the report of the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth from its recent inquiry “Supporting Australia’s export and investment opportunities”.

Medicines Australia made a formal submission to the inquiry and attended a hearing at Parliament House, alongside Bristol-Myers Squibb.

The report acknowledges the potential for leveraging Australia’s competitive advantages in the innovative health sector, particularly the investment and export opportunities that it could deliver for the Australian economy.

Medicines Australia Chief Executive officer Elizabeth de Somer further welcomes the Committee’s focus on supporting the innovative pharmaceutical industry’s efforts to strengthen health outcomes for all Australians and grow the economy, including through attracting greater investment into research and development, growing exports and strengthening advanced manufacturing opportunities.

“The unprecedented challenges posed in the intervening period by COVID-19 has made these objectives more important than ever before as we all seek to rebuild and future-proof Australia’s economy.

“As the report recognises in its first recommendation, better translating and commercialising the discoveries made by our scientists should be a pivotal part of attracting investment into Australia. Commercialising such innovations can also provide, in the long term, export opportunities to Australian companies,” she said

The report’s recommendations also highlight the importance of an innovation-based economy that supports, encourages and attracts direct investment into research and development, particularly clinical trials. The report recommends that a stronger pharmaceutical sector will require:

  • an improved research and development tax incentive scheme that also encourages great public/private investment
  • additional support for SME’s and start-ups
  • a review of intellectual property frameworks relating to patent transparency measures and regulatory data protection to ensure that do not impede investment
  • building on lessons learned from the Biomedical Translation Fund
  • the national harmonisation of clinical trials processes
  • a visa program tailored to attracting the best overseas talent to foster a culture of innovation.

“If the right incentives exist, including for strengthen a growing ecosystem of public/private research and development partnerships, Medicines Australia believes Australia’s economy, alongside Australian’s health, will only improve,” concluded Ms de Somer.