AAMRI welcomes new Health Ministry and certainty for medical research

AAMRI welcomes new Health Ministry and certainty for medical research

16th September, 2013

Focus now on implementing McKeon review ‘blueprint’

The Association of Australian Medical Research Institutes (AAMRI), Australia’s peak body for Australia’s independent medical research institutes, welcomes the appointment of the Hon Peter Dutton MP as the new Minister for Health, and Senator Fiona Nash as Assistant Minister for Health.

“Prime Minister Abbott and the Hon Peter Dutton MP have demonstrated an understanding for the necessity of a strong medical research sector,” said Professor Brendan Crabb, AAMRI President. “It’s terrific to have Senator Nash to assist in the health and medical research policy areas.”

“For quite some time the Coalition has campaigned strongly in support of health and medical research,” said Professor Crabb. “With this in mind, we especially look forward to working with Mr Dutton and Senator Nash to implement the Coalition’s Policy to Protect and Streamline Health and Medical Research Funding.”

“This policy embraced some of the recommendations in the Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research, chaired by Simon McKeon. We hope to bring much more of the McKeon review to life with the Coalition government. This review presents a long term vision to embed research into the health sector and by doing so, to create a more effective and efficient system. It is visionary and transformational for the nation.”

Professor Crabb said the Coalition’s commitment to protect funding for health and medical research offers much-needed certainty for the sector, adding “it will encourage further private sector investment and provide a strong incentive for the world’s best researchers to pursue careers in Australia.”

“Most importantly, it also offers hope to the many patients who rely on medical research to improve disease treatments, to donors who place their hope in medical research to find new cures, and to Australia’s medicines industry—one of Australia’s most valuable high-tech export industries—which relies on research to develop new, more effective drugs and diagnostics,” he said.

“Our hope is that we can work together on a roadmap that will lead to many more Australian medical research successes such as the bionic ear and the human papillomavirus vaccine, and the makings of home grown Nobel Laureates such as Barry Marshall, Robin Warren, Peter Doherty, Macfarlane Burnet and Howard Florey.”

Contact: Lisa Kuspira | 0423 011 493 | lisa.kuspira@aamri.org

Australian medical research – the facts

  • Every dollar invested in Australian health and medical research returns on average $2.17 in health benefits.[1]
  •  Investment in the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) between 2000-2010 is projected to have saved $966 million in costs to the health system, with a further $6 billion in gains linked to increased wellbeing.[2]
  • Approximately 23,000 people are employed in Australian health and medical research,[3] and the pharmaceutical industry employs over 13,000 Australians.[4]
  •  Australia produces 3 per cent of the world’s medical research outputs (publications) from just 1.1 per cent of global health research dollars.[5],[6]
  • Australia’s pharmaceutical industry is the nation’s most valuable high technology export industry, with annual exports worth $4 billion in 2012-13.[7]
  • Annual turnover of the Australian medicines industry was $22.46 billion in 2010-11, and Australian medicines manufacturing contributed an estimated $9.7 billion to the economy in sales and service income.[8]

For additional information on the Strategic Review of Health and Medical Research, refer to the summary report.

 

[1] Australian Society for Medical Research – Exceptional Returns: The Value of Investing in Health R&D in Australia II, Access Economics study 2008).

[2] Australian Society for Medical Research – Exceptional Returns: The Value of Investing in Health R&D in Australia II, Access Economics study 2008).

[6] Australian Society for Medical Research – Exceptional Returns: The Value of Investing in Health R&D in Australia II, Access Economics study 2008, pg. 31