Medicines industry R&D tops $1billion mark again

The Australian medicines industry’s R&D investment has exceeded $1 billion for the second 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 $1.002 billion in R&D investment in 2009-10. 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 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.

“This is a strong performance and we can consolidate it if we continue to take steps towards maintaining Australia’s global competitiveness as a destination for R&D investment.

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

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

“The R&D tax credit is one policy setting that will boost investment in Australian R&D,” Dr Shaw said.

“Implementing the recommendations of the Government-appointed Clinical Trials Action Group will also help make Australia more competitive.

“International competition from countries like Brazil, India and China is ferocious, but with the right policies we have a good opportunity to grow our R&D industry and to keep innovative R&D in Australia.

“That would ensure we keep more of our top research scientists engaged in Australian R&D and attract greater investment to our universities and other research institutions.”

The medicines industry conducts more than 700 clinical trials in Australia each year. In 2010 more than 18,000 Australians participated in clinical trials supported by the medicines industry in this country.


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