New poll with new message for new Government: Australians want to see medical research prioritised and medical breakthroughs a reality

Media Release: Monday 5 September 2016

A new poll released has revealed 87 per cent of Australians support the Federal Government’s Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF).

The Roy Morgan Research poll conducted for Research Australia, also shows 78 per cent of Australians believe the MRFF will lead to better health outcomes.

“It is clear there is significant support for the Medical Research Future Fund and Australians want to see it become a reality,” said CEO of Research Australia, Nadia Levin.

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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

Pharmaceutical Patents Review Draft Report

In October 2012, the Australian Government announced a review of pharmaceutical patents, including the provisions for extending the terms of eligible pharmaceutical patents. The Review has issued a draft report with a number of interim findings and recommendations. Research Australia has made a submission to the Review, emphasising the important role that pharmaceutical patents play in encouraging innovation and competition, and the importance of providing a level of protection that is consistent with our collaborators in pharmaceutical development in the USA and Europe. Research Australia has also emphasised the important distinction between paying a drug company for its innovation by buying drugs under patent, and providing public funding for research.

Pharmaceutical Patents Review Draft Report