The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA) is being established as a national peak body to support and represent the networks of clinician researchers that conduct investigator-initiated or "public-good" clinical trials within the Australian health system.
The formation of ACTA has been driven by individuals who have played key roles in the successful clinical trials networks, clinical trial coordinating centres and clinical quality registries in Australia. These are the core groups ACTA will represent and be guided by.
The call to establish ACTA came following a Summit on clinical trials research sponsored by the Medical Journal of Australia in 2012 where clinician researchers met with government policymakers, industry representatives, consumer groups and health professionals.
The meeting highlighted that while Australia has had remarkable success in conducting trials that have answered critically important questions about the safety, quality or efficiency of new and existing treatments, the capacity of networks to generate high quality evidence to support decision-making in health care could be significantly enhanced with greater engagement, dialogue, and partnership between themselves and with policymakers.
The development of ACTA is supported by more than 50 clinical trials networks, trial coordinating centres and clinical quality registries. These groups cover a broad range of disease groups and clinical disciplines and represent a large proportion of the public-good clinical research conducted in Australia each year.
The first tranche of seed funding to support the establishment of ACTA was provided by the Victorian Department of Health in 2013.
ACTA was officially launched by Prof Chris Brook PSM (Executive Director – Wellbeing, Integrated Care & Aged Services, VIC Health) at the National Summit of Investigator-Initiated Clinical Trials Networks held in Melbourne, 28-29 March 2014.