Promise to reduce barriers to Clinical Trials will benefit patients

The Federal Government’s election commitment to better coordinate clinical trials is welcome news for patients, researchers and innovative medicine companies.

Medicines Australia members conduct around 600-700 clinical trials nationally each year in partnership with hospitals, universities and other research institutions.

These clinical trials provide Australian patients with early access to the latest potential breakthroughs in innovative medicine. They also boost the local economy and support thousands of jobs for scientists, doctors and nurses.

Currently, Australia’s ability to retain and attract more clinical trials has been hindered by the myriad of regulations which can change from state to state as well as hospital to hospital. Even ethics committee requirements can vary at each location.

Medicines Australia welcomes Health Minister Sussan Ley’s promise to bring a more harmonised approach to these regulations and a national coordination point of contact to help negotiate contracts, prices, regulations and ethical approvals for multi-site clinical trials.

“The R&D-based pharmaceutical companies which make up Medicines Australia work day in and day out to discover, develop and deliver breakthrough medicines to patients and clinical trials are a crucial component in making that a reality,” said Medicines Australia Chairman Wes Cook.

“Australia has some of the most passionate, talented scientists, doctors and nurses and our industry is proud to work alongside them to provide the very latest methods of treatment for patients.”

“The changes announced by the Health Minister will help to make Australia a more attractive destination for clinical trials which is great news for patients, great news for local researchers and welcome news for our members.”

Australians have also missed out on clinical trials because not enough eligible candidates could be identified before a trial was to commence.

The Government’s pledge for a national communications strategy to better utilise relevant patient groups and clinicians to identify eligible patients will help to resolve this.

“For many years, all political parties have grappled with and supported the need for more national coordination of clinical trials and Minister Ley’s announcements are some of the most concrete steps yet to ensure Australians don’t miss out on the world’s latest breakthroughs in medicine,” said Mr Cook.

“We look forward to working with the governments of all our states and territories as well as the federal government to see these changes made.”


James Boyce
Phone: 0423 239 265