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Medical Research Future Fund – clinical trial funding set to deliver significant benefits to Australian patients and the economy


The funding commitment for clinical trials and registries announced in this week’s Federal Budget is a major first step in realising the enormous potential of the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) to save and improve the lives of millions of Australians.

The announcement reaffirms the Government’s commitment to achieving the MRFF capital target of $20 billion by 2020/21. In what can be seen as a win-win for patients and the economy, a total of $33 million to boost clinical trials activity in Australia was announced last night.

“ACTA congratulates the Government for its steadfast commitment to the MRFF and its clear recognition of the role and value of clinical trials and registries to the health system,” said ACTA Chair, Professor John Zalcberg OAM.

“Clinical trials and registries are critical to the delivery of high quality, cost-effective health care. They produce extremely high returns on investment–many fold higher than accepted thresholds for sound public investment–and the benefits can often be seen in years, not decades”.

The government has set aside $5 million to advance clinical trials for adolescents and young adults with cancer. Additional investment will expand two national clinical quality registries to drive better outcomes for patients with implanted cardiac devices and breast implants.

Details around a further $28 million to support clinical trials under the MRFF are set to be announced in the coming weeks.

“ACTA and its members eagerly await the announcement of further details about how the $28 million will be invested, but the clear prioritisation of clinical trials in this budget will be welcomed across the sector”. Professor Zalcberg said.

On 19 May, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP will attend the Clinical Trials 2017: National Tribute and Awards Ceremony, where he will be talking about the Government’s strong support for clinical trials, clinical registries and networks. The event will form part of celebrations marking International Clinical Trials Day.

ACTA looks forward to welcoming the Health Minister to the event to join us in recognising Australia's outstanding achievements in clinical trials and honouring the people who make them possible.