New paper shows need to complete clinical trial plan

A Medicines Australia paper launched at Parliament House tonight (Tuesday) shows the Federal Government’s plan to invigorate the clinical trials industry is working but that implementation must be completed.

Keeping clinical trials in Australia: why action is needed now argues that the recommendations of the Clinical Trials Action Group hold the key to ensuring the future of clinical trials in Australia. The CTAG was set up by the Government to help cement Australia’s position as a good place to conduct clinical trials.

Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw said it was critical for the Federal Government finish the job.

“The paper shows that the recommendations being implemented are starting to work, but Australia can’t afford for this issue to slip off the agenda,” Dr Shaw said.

“The CTAG plan represents a precious opportunity to help restore Australia’s international reputation as a centre of excellence for clinical trials.

“We are making some progress towards that but it’s critical that we don’t drop the ball.”

The paper shows that the number of new clinical trials in Australia has been declining over the past three years by an average of 13 per cent per year.

“It’s very much in the national interest to reverse this trend,” Dr Shaw said.

“The Australian Medicines Industry invests more than $1 billion a year in pharmaceutical R&D, but we face increasing competition from emerging economies.

“Australia needs to become more attractive as an investment destination. We need to make it easier and cheaper to start new clinical trials.

“We need a nationally harmonised system of ethics approval for multi-centre clinical trials, so that trial sponsors need one single approval instead of half a dozen.

“We need to improve patient recruitment and better national coordination and greater collaboration across trial networks.

“We boast some of the world’s best clinical research scientists and state-of-the-art clinical research infrastructure.But Australia can only capitalise on that advantage by continuing to implement the Government’s clinical trials plan.”

Keeping Clinical Trials in Australia: Why Action is Needed Now is available online at:


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