Research Australia welcomes additional rare cancers and rare diseases research

The Government has today announced an $69 million boost in funding for research in to rare cancers and rare diseases, including $26 million allocated to 19 projects as a part of the Medical Research Future Fund’s “Rare Cancers, Rare Diseases and Unmet Needs Clinical Trials Program”. This program has been expanded from $13 million when announced last year to $26 million in recognition of the quality of the applications received.

A $10 million targeted call for research into rare diseases and cancers is expected soon, and an additional $33 million will be made available in the next financial year to further expand research in this area.

Research Australia welcomes the additional funding, and recognises the importance of funding for these areas which impact many Australian families.

Last year Research Australia made a submission to the Senate Select Committee Inquiry into Funding for Research into Cancers with Low Survival Rates, which you can read in full here.

You can keep a track of all of the Medical Research Future Fund funding announcements here, or click here to read the Minister for Health’s full statement on today’s funding boost.

 

Research Australia supports TGA reforms

Research Australia made a submission to the Senate Committee inquiring into the Therapeutic Goods Amendment (2017 Measures No. 1) Bill 2017. This Bill is the latest instalment in amendments to implement the recommendations of a Review conducted in 2015 with the aim of improving the processes for the approval of medicines and medical devices by the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA), and to provide consumers with better information.

Research Australia supported the amendments to improve access to potentially lifesaving medicines for patients with few or no other options. In doing so, it will implement a scheme that is similar to those already operating in the USA and European Union.

Research Australia also supported the proposed changes to the marketing of complementary medicines, although we urged the Senate Committee to recommend the legislation be amended to include disclaimers to the effect that the efficacy claims for the products have not been independently assessed and/or are based on traditional use rather than scientific evidence.

Research Australia Submission on the TGA amendments.

The Senate Committee issued its Report on 2 February, noting Research Australia’s submissions. It has recommended that the Senate pass the Bill. In responding to concerns raised by the Committee about advertising of complementary medicines, the Department has outlined measures that will be taken to ensure the public is aware that efficacy claims are based on traditional use rather than scientific evidence. The Committee has also urged the Government to ensure the TGA is adequately resourced to undertake its monitoring activities.

Peer Review- 2 Stage Process for Idea Grants

Research Australia’s submission in response to the NHMRC’s Peer Review Consultation has urged the NHMRC to consult further on options for a two stage application process for the Ideas Grants.

There is considerable interest within our membership and across the health and medical research sector in a two-stage application process, and while there is not yet agreement on the approach, there is an appetite for change. Research Australia believes that a two-stage application process for Ideas Grants, incorporating an abbreviated application at the first stage, provides the chance to reduce the burden on applicants and reviewers alike, while better supporting the objectives of Ideas Grants to promote innovative and novel research.

In particular, the process could provide the focus on novel and innovative ideas and reduced emphasis on track record that the NHMRC is seeking.  Research Australia’s submission explores the opportunity to adopt a two-stage application process for Ideas Grants and puts forward some considerations for further investigation and consultation.

Research Australia’s submission

Health Sector essential to Digital Economy Strategy

Research Australia’s submission to the Department of Industry, Innovation and Science’s consultation on a Digital Economy Strategy has emphasised the importance of digital innovation in the heath sector to Australia’s economy, national wellbeing and future prosperity.

It highlights a number of current initiatives in the health sector that are relevant to digital innovation and makes twelve recommendations to improve the adoption of digital technologies in health; increase innovation in healthcare delivery; and make better use of health data.

Research Australia’s submission

Why online health records help us all

Friday 1 September 2017

In an era of big data, the opportunity to harness the masses of information, including personal health records, through better collection, linkage and access, has the potential to transform our health systems and the way we deliver healthcare.

The more a doctor who is treating you knows about your medical history (and the quicker that history can be accessed) the better chance you have of it saving your life. If you are in an accident, unconscious and seriously hurt, then you really want those taking care of you to be able to access all your information about allergies, illnesses and medical history. It could make the difference between life and death.

You might assume doctors in various parts of the health system can already access your information, when the reality is that in most cases they cannot.The Australian health system is fragmented and information is not easily shared between the various GPs, medical specialists, private clinics and hospitals you visit over a lifetime. This means the data a medical professional looks at might not be complete or you may have to recall your own history repeatedly. This can lead to poor diagnoses and increased cost to the health system, with every repeat test and scan that might otherwise have been avoided.

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Research Australia’s Collaborative Strategy

Research Australia’s Collaborative Strategy and Priority Projects are now available for you to download and share. 

Our vision

Research Australia envisions a world where Australia unlocks the full potential of its world-leading health and medical research sector to deliver the best possible healthcare and global leadership in health innovation.

Our goals

Connecting researchers, funders, and consumers to increase investment in health and medical research from all sources.

Engaging Australia in a conversation about the health benefits and economic value of its investment in health and medical research.

Influencing government policies that support effective health and medical research and its routine translation into evidence-based practices and better health outcomes.

Our mission

To use our unique convening power to position health and medical research as a significant driver of a healthy population and contributor to a healthy economy.

Research & Development Tax Incentive

Joint statement on the Research & Development Tax Incentive

Don’t rip the guts out of Australian medical research commercialisation

Commercialisation of Australian medical research is under serious threat if the package of measures put by the ‘Ferris, Finkel, Fraser’ Review of the Research & Development (R&D) Tax Incentive is adopted and Australia’s medical technology, biotechnology, and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector is urging the Federal Government not to devastate Australia’s most innovative industry.

The R&D Tax Incentive is the most critical centre-piece program in the translation of Australia’s world-class research into treatments, cures, diagnostics, medical devices and vaccines. The program has been successful in helping attract more investment in R&D and fostering a strong Australian life sciences clinical trials and R&D sector.
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Medical Researcher becomes Australian of the Year

Congratulations to the 2017 Australian of the Year recipient Emeritus Professor Alan Mackay-Sim. Research Australia is thrilled that a medical researcher has been chosen for this honour.

Professor Mackay-Sim has spent over 20 years making discoveries on the human sense of smell and the biology of nasal cells. He and his team proved it was safe to transplant nasal cells to the spinal cord.[1]

In Prof Mackay-Sim’s acceptance speech, he highlighted the importance of investing in research for the future.  Continue reading “Medical Researcher becomes Australian of the Year”

New Leaders to Strengthen the Alliance of Australian Health and Medical Researchers

Media Release: Wednesday 11 May 2016

Decades’ worth of highly-specialised experience is being added to the leadership of Research Australia, with the appointment of a new CEO and four new Board members.

Research Australia is an alliance of 160 members and supporters advocating for health and medical research in Australia.

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