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Shorten’s Labor promises $26 million boost to cancer and disease clinical trials

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance (ACTA), the peak body for Clinical Trial Networks, Clinical Quality Registries and Coordinating centres in Australia, applauds Bill Shorten’s announcement this morning that a Labor Government will invest $26 million into the future of clinical trials in Australia as part of its commitment to fighting cancer and other serious chronic diseases.

Prof John Zalcberg, Chair of ACTA said, “Investment in clinical trials is integral to the ongoing fight against all serious illnesses especially cancer – a fight that one in two Australians under the age of 85 will face.”

“Clinical Trials and Medical Research are critically important for the future health of Australians. ACTA applauds the support being promised to this important work by Bill Shorten’s Labor team including the Shadow Health Minister, Ms Catherine King. This money will help fund trials designed to identify the most effective treatments as well as ways to improve their implementation, a key aspect of a learning health system.”

Labor will invest $26 million in the work of the Australian Clinical Trials Alliance across three areas;

$12 million towards two demonstration projects to help enhance Australia’s role as a world leader in clinical trials – these projects will be focused on embedding trials into routine health care so Australians can access clinical trials faster and more effectively.

$10 million to support Clinical Trial Coordinating Centres, to help clinicians design more trials that address clinically important questions in patient care, identifying the best options possible from an often complex range of treatment pathways.

$4 million to assist ACTA develop a transformational roadmap of a self-learning health care system, involving all stakeholders with an interest in translating evidence from trials into improved, cost-effective patient care.

The ALP in its budget response has already promised a boost to Medicare that will create a massive expansion of support for cancer patients through increased access to free scans and medications as well as ongoing support for the Medical Research Future Fund.

The Australian Clinical Trials Alliance believes that clinical trials and quality registries are critical to improving treatments, the patient experience, as well as the creation of jobs and export of ideas and products that are generated through a properly-funded, visionary clinical trials and research sector.

ACTA welcomes this $26 million funding announcement towards helping make Australia a world-leader in health innovation and best practice. Beyond our capacity to grow the wealth of Australians through improving Australia’s health, and exporting our ideas to the world, every dollar invested into trials conducted by investigator-led clinical trial networks saves the country almost $6.

Media: for more information contact ACTA Communications Manager, Lisa Reid on 0419 498 913.