Autumn 2016 Issue Out Now!
Welcome to the Autumn issue of Research Australia’s grassROOTS magazine. Activity in our sector has been at fever pitch for a while now and there have been some good outcomes. The National Innovation and Science Agenda (NISA) was announced by the Prime Minister in early December. Research Australia welcomes this clear focus by our Government on science and innovation as essential to Australia’s future and there is no doubt that health and medical research has an important role to play.
This agenda reconfirmed the importance of the Medical Research Future Fund, it has enabled the set up of a biomedical translation fund to quickly address the funding gap for mid to later stage clinical research and development, and it is also focused on developing a new plan for research infrastructure and championing the importance of STEM subjects such as maths and science, in our education system.
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Clinical trials are conducted in human volunteers to test that new drugs, devices and therapies (‘interventions’) are safe and effective. A new compound may kill tumour cells in mice, but will it work effectively in people, and how big a dose is required? Can it be delivered as a tablet, or is an injection more effective? These are some of the questions that can only be answered with a clinical trial. For people with hard to treat diseases, participation in a clinical trial for a new drug may offer the only opportunity for a cure.
Clinical trials also provide the opportunity to compare the effectiveness of existing treatments or practices, to determine if they actually work, and which is best.
Clinical trials in Australia are subject to strict rules to protect participants and ensure the integrity of the trial process, so that the results can be relied on when deciding whether to allow a new intervention to be offered to patients in Australia, or whether existing practices should be changed.
More information about clinical trials is available on the Research Australia website, or at www.clinicaltrials.gov.au