Australia - Clinical trial numbers in Australia fall for third straight year

International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance

ISSN: 0952-6862

Article publication date: 19 July 2011




(2011), "Australia - Clinical trial numbers in Australia fall for third straight year", International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Vol. 24 No. 6.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Australia - Clinical trial numbers in Australia fall for third straight year

Article Type: News and views From: International Journal of Health Care Quality Assurance, Volume 24, Issue 6

Keywords: Clinical trials, Healthcare research, Clinical frameworks

New figures from the Australian Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) show that the number of new clinical trials in Australia has fallen by 13 per cent for three straight years. The TGA’s latest Half-Yearly Performance Report shows only 574 clinical trials were started in Australia in 2010. That is the lowest number since 2001, and 99 fewer than 2009.

The Australian government previously established the Clinical Trials Action Group to arrest the decline in clinical trials activity. It announced that it would implement the recommendations made by the Group by July 2011.

Medicines Australia, which represents the discovery-driven pharmaceutical industry in Australia, highlighted an urgent need for the Australian government to deliver on its promise to fix the problem. Medicines Australia chief executive Dr Brendan Shaw called the record “extremely disappointing”.

“The very future of Australia’s $1 billion clinical research industry is at stake. I don’t think that is putting it too strongly. Clinical trials deliver significant benefit to the national economy and this is crunch time for the industry. The competition for R&D investment from countries in Asia and Europe is extremely fierce. Only with the right policy settings can we hope to grow our R&D industry and keep cutting-edge medical science in Australia”, Shaw said.

Dr Shaw gave a number of reasons to overhaul the clinical framework from both a healthcare and economic standpoint. Doing so would allow Australia to retain more of their top scientists, and attract greater investment to its universities and other research institutions, he said.

Clinical trials also provide early access to innovative medicines for Australians that otherwise would not be available, in particular for cancer and rare diseases.

Finally, these trials save the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme $100 million a year, so the more clinical trials Australia conducts, the greater the savings for the taxpayer.

For more information:

Related articles