Medicines industry R&D tops $1billion for third year

The Australian medicines industry’s R&D investment has exceeded $1 billion for the third successive year, according to the annual Australian Bureau of Statistics business expenditure report on R&D released today.

The ABS figures show that the medicines industry attracted $1.036 billion in R&D investment in 2010-11. The medicines industry’s R&D investment was the third largest by area of business expenditure, behind financial services and mining.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said the new ABS data highlighted the value of the Australian medicines industry to the national economy.

“These figures confirm Australia’s reputation as a global centre for R&D excellence,” Dr Shaw said.

“Australia boasts some of the best scientists and research infrastructure in the world. That is an advantage we must continue to capitalise on.

“These figures point to the untapped potential to leverage this success and grow this industry into a powerhouse for Australia’s economic future. They show that the medicines industry is one of Australia’s key innovative industries.”

Dr Shaw said the introduction of the new R&D tax credit system introduced in August 2011 had effectively reduced the cost of eligible R&D by up to 10 per cent.

“The R&D tax credit is helping to boost investment in Australian R&D at a time when Australian companies are facing strong international competition for R&D investment dollars,” Dr Shaw said.

“Maintaining the R&D tax credit incentive is key to continuing investment in R&D in Australia and supporting high-value research jobs.

“Australia is facing fierce competition for clinical trial investment from countries such as Brazil, India and China. We have been losing clinical trials to these competitors.

“To be more competitive, we urgently need to see the implementation of the recommendations of the Government-appointed Clinical Trials Action Group.

“That will help Australia be more attractive as we compete for investment dollars.”

The medicines industry conducts more than 700 clinical trials in Australia each year. More than 18,000 Australians are given early access to innovative medicines, medical devices and diagnostics through clinical trials each year.


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