Budget recognises the benefits clinical trials and R&D to healthier Australia

The Medical Technology Association of Australia (MTAA), the peak industry body welcomed the decision in the Budget to recognise the importance of clinical trials and research and development.

The decision to exclude R&D expenditure on clinical trials towards the $4 million refundable R&D tax offsets is been something the medical technology research community has been calling on.

MTAA aims to ensure the benefits of modern, innovative and reliable medical technology are delivered effectively to provide better health outcomes to the Australian community.

At the heart of the medical devices industry is 17,700 dedicated professionals, committed to making a positive difference to patients’ lives through medical technology.

Further, MTAA welcomes the additional $6 billion for Australia’s health and medical research sector, including $3.5 billion for the National Health and Medical Research Council, $2 billion in disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and $500 million from the Biomedical Translation Fund.

MTAA welcomes the Government’s Budget commitment to:

  • $1.3 billion over 10 years from 2017-18 for a National Health and Medical Industry Growth Plan to improve health outcomes and develop Australia as a global destination for medical sector jobs, research and clinical trials.These investments, using proceeds from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), will include:
    • $500.0 million over 10 years from 2017-18 committed to the Genomics Health Futures Mission, including $10.7 million in 2017-18 for genomics research;
    • $240.0 million committed to the Frontier Health and Medical Research program;
    • $248.0 million for expanded clinical trial programs;
    • $125.0 million over nine years from 2019-20 to contribute to the Targeted Translation Research Accelerator for chronic conditions focussed on diabetes and heart disease; and
    • $94.3 million for biomedtech programs and industry research collaborations.
  • $275.4 million from the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), including:
    • $125.0 million over 10 years from 2017-18 for a Million Minds Mental Health Research Mission to support priorities under the Fifth Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Plan;
    • $75.0 million over four years from 2017-18 to extend the Rapid Applied Research Translation program that supports Advanced Health Research Translation Centres and Centres for Innovation in Regional Health;
    • $18.1 million over four years from 2017-18 for a Keeping Australians Out of Hospital program to support preventive health, behavioural economics and reduce avoidable presentations to hospital;
    • $39.8 million over four years from 2017-18 for a Targeted Health System and Community Organisation Research program with a focus on comparative effectiveness studies and consumer-driven research; and
    • $17.5 million over four years from 2017-18 for research into Women’s Health and research into Maternal Health and First 2,000 Days to address the underlying social determinants of health that impact on a child’s early days of life.

Ian Burgess, Chief Executive Officer of the Medical Technology Association of Australia said:

“MTAA congratulates the Government and the Minister for Health in the budget handed down tonight. “The announcement to carve out clinical trials from R&D expenditure is something the sector has been calling on.

“We’re pleased the Government understood the longer timeframes, due to significant scientific and regulatory hurdles to reach market and the higher expenditure on R&D, particularly in later stages with activities like clinical trials.

“Australian clinical trials industry is estimated to be worth $1 billion to the economy with the number involving medical devices having increased from 119 to over 160 in just three years.

“Global advances in medical technology over the past 20 years have resulted in a 56% reduction in hospital stays, 25% decline in disability rates, 16% decline in annual mortality and increased life expectancy of approximately 3.2 years.

“The medical technology industry makes a highly significant contribution to the quality of healthcare in Australia in helping people live longer, healthier and more productive lives.”