Celebrating Australia’s clinical trial capabilities


In recognition of International Clinical Trials Day on 20 May, AusBiotech celebrates Australia’s global reputation as a go-to destination for conducting clinical trials.

Australia is an attractive environment for clinical trials due to our strong foundation of research excellence, robust patent and regulatory laws, attractive tax incentives, the interconnected nature of medical research and healthcare provision in Australia, and the ease with which clinical trials can be conducted.

As Australia’s leading body representing the life sciences industry, AusBiotech understands how vital the clinical research sector is to not only the biotechnology industry but for all of Australia.

Clinical trial activity in Australia improves the evidence base supporting clinical practice; helps patients access trials relevant to their health circumstances; contributes to the development of much-needed therapies; advances Australia’s medical research capabilities; and increases economic prosperity.

Australia’s clinical trial activity has increased significantly in the past five years. As of 17 May 2023, the Australian New Zealand Clinical Trial registry reported 8,103 clinical trials were currently underway in Australia.

There is national recognition at the policy level that clinical research is an important aspect of Australia’s economy. Clinical trials contributed more than $1.4 billion to the Australian economy through direct expenditure or investment. The sector employs around 8,000 Australians, and more than 95,000 Australians participated in clinical trials in 2019. Several other studies, in Australia and elsewhere, have demonstrated significant return on investment and improved health outcomes in systems with high clinical trial research participation.

Australia’s clinical research sector is growing steadily, but there is opportunity to do more to capitalise on the sector’s success to date.

While the Federal Government has established initiatives to further develop Australia’s clinical trial excellence, such as the $750m ‘Clinical Trials Activity’ initiative announced in March 2022 to fund research projects and attract investigator-led international clinical trials to Australia to increase domestic clinical trial activity over the next 10 years, industry is waiting to hear more on the National One Stop Shop initiative for clinical trials, after two years of consultation has been undertaken.

AusBiotech will continue to work with subject matter experts in the Clinical Trials Advisory Group to develop policy advice and advocate for a more effective environment for clinical trials on behalf of the sector.

AusBiotech looks forward to facilitating these conversations with Federal Health Minister Mark Butler to further develop our clinical trial capabilities for the benefit of patients, industry, and Australia’s economy as a whole.