Fifth Mental Health Plan ignores research

Research Australia’s submission in response the draft Fifth National Mental Health Plan has highlighted the Plan’s failure to include health and medical research.

Research Australia is concerned that the Fifth Plan is currently a missed opportunity to make better use of Australia’s significant capacity in health and medical research to help deliver the Plan’s vision of healthier Australians, faster and more complete recoveries from mental illness and more responsive and effective services.

The draft Fifth Plan calls for significant reform and innovation in the way we deliver mental health services in Australia, and the health and medical research sector is well placed to help inform, design, implement and evaluate these reforms. Research Australia believes the Fifth Plan provides an opportunity to improve the integration of the mental health system with the health and medical research sector, and to better utilise and direct research towards the Plan’s priorities. Our submission has highlighted some of the many ways in which health and medical research can contribute. Submission for 5th Mental Health Plan

 

Australian take on International Clinical Trials Day

Media Release: Friday 20 May 2016

A clinical trial investigating reducing risk of neonatal infections related to pre-labour ruptured membranes, has been awarded the inaugural Trial of the Year Award 2016 by the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA).

Professor Johnathan Morris, chief investigator, this morning accepted the award on behalf of the trial investigators at the Clinical Trials 2016 Breakfast and Award Ceremony this morning from Health Minister Sussan Ley.

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Michael J Fox Foundation explains the pharmaceutical development process

The Michael J. Fox Foundation‘s Co-Founder Debi Brooks breaks down the pharmaceutical development landscape in an easy to understand analogy and explains how the Foundation plays a critical role in bringing better and improved Parkinson’s disease therapies to patients.

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PCFA and the Movember Foundation announce funding for two new prostate cancer trials

Prostate Cancer Foundation Australia (PCFA) and the Movember Foundation have today announced funding towards two new clinical trials to address significant research questions that will potentially revolutionise the way prostate cancers are monitored and treated. These clinical trials involve the testing of a new scanning technique and the role of Vitamin D in preventing progression of prostate cancer.

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Clinical Trials

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

Good Practice process for clinical trials

The NHMRC has consulted on a Good Practice Process for Clinical Trials with the aim of improving clinical trials governance. Research Australia has made a submission welcoming the initiative and acknowledging that it is one of a number of actions being undertaken to improve, standardise and streamline clinical trial processes, including by COAG’s Standing Committee on Health. Research Australia’s submission highlights the benefits of moving to a national, standardised approach to clinical trials, points to some possible improvements to the process and identifies some state- specific regulatory barriers.

Clinical Trial Research Governance

Social Impact Bonds – Submission to the SA Government

The South Australian Government issued a discussion paper seeking on the suitability of Social Impact Bonds to fund innovative new programs. Research Australia’s submission proposes the use of Social Impact Bonds to address the well recognised problem of translating research outcomes and discoveries into practice in the health system. Specifically, Research Australia believes that Social Impact Bonds could be an effective mechanism for funding and evaluating pilot projects and clinical trials designed to implement and evaluate new evidence based practices and interventions. The benefits of implementing successful new interventions are improved patient care and efficiency gains in the South Australian health care system.

Social Impact Bonds South Australia