Medicines industry plan to drive economic growth

Medicines Australia has presented the Federal Opposition’s Industries for Australia’s Future review with an action plan to ensure the Australian medicines industry can continue to contribute to economic growth.

The plan includes recommendations to lower the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent, strengthen intellectual property laws, establish a strategic co-investment fund and improve the investment environment for clinical trials in Australia.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the medicines industry was well placed to contribute to future economic growth in Australia if governments were prepared to adopt the right vision and policy settings.

“We’ve identified a number of areas in which reforms would help ensure the medicines industry’s long-term viability in Australia,” Dr Shaw said.

“These reforms will help the medicines industry contribute substantially to sustainable economic growth, driving global investment and supporting high-wage jobs.

“We need to make Australia more competitive as an investment destination for clinical trials by making it cheaper and quicker to start new trials here.

“We need to reduce the corporate tax rate to 20 per cent.

“We need a strategic co-investment fund of the kind that created 1000 new jobs and achieved an increase of $4 billion in value-add in the 1990s.

“We need a much more stable and predictable business environment.

“Unfortunately it is becoming increasingly difficult to make global companies in knowledge-intensive industries view Australia as a preferred destination for major investment. That is certainly true of the medicines industry and that is why we need Australia needs to take a bold and visionary approach to investing in industry.

“We welcome the current debate about the future of Australian industry. It is long overdue and we congratulate the Federal Opposition for their engagement in it.

“The Australian medicines industry has some basic competitive advantages that provide us with the potential to take the industry to the next level in the global marketplace and help secure Australian innovative manufacturing in a post-mining boom future.

“The industry already generates 14,000 high skill jobs, $1 billion in R&D, 700 clinical trials, and $4 billion a year in exports which is more than the car or wine industries.

“Australia can build on this base if we put the policy settings and vision in place to do it.”

Medicines Australia’s submission is available here


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