The official communique from the third meeting of the Federal Government’s Clinical Trials Collaborative Forum centred on the coordination of the many initiatives in place to improve the landscape for clinical trials.
This Forum, which is co-convened by Departments of Industry, Innovation and Science, and the Australian Government Department of Health, is attended by a wide range of clinical trials stakeholders, including State and Territory Health Departments, pharmaceutical companies, and commercial research companies. It is used to identify issues, exchange information and engage in collaborative problem solving, with a view to reducing duplication and improving the clinical trials environment. Lorraine Chiroiu, CEO AusBiotech, is an industry representative on the Forum.
Discussion highlights of the meeting included:
- a selection of clinical trial improvement activities underway across the sector, identified as part of a scoping and analysis activity. The purpose is to identify opportunities for collaboration or synergy, to identify gaps and minimise duplication. Initial activities featured targeted workforce development, enhancing capabilities for Phase I trials, digital health.
- work to develop a Clinical Trials Governance Framework under the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) Health Council revitalised clinical trials agenda endorsed by all Health Ministers in March 2017. The Department of Health has commissioned the Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care to undertake this work on behalf of all jurisdictions, as an important step towards nationally consistent accreditation of sites undertaking clinical trials in Australia. A literature review and mapping exercise has already taken place, and a series of stakeholder consultations on the draft Framework will commence in early 2019. The Governance Framework will be accompanied by a guide for implementation and will be incorporated into the next accreditation cycle of the National Safety and Quality Health Service (NSQHS) Standards in 2020. AusBiotech is engaged in the consultations workshops being run in March 2019.
- the recently announced Australian Medical Research and Innovation Priorities 2018-2020, which together with the MRFF Strategy inform government decision making on MRFF disbursements. Anti-microbial resistance, ageing and aged care, primary care, public health and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health are among this second set of MRFF Priorities, which were developed by the independent Australian Medical Research Advisory Board following a comprehensive national consultation process. The consultation engaged the Australian public, organisations with expertise in health and medical research, academics, clinicians and health services managers. More than 1,200 stakeholders were involved in the process.
A full summary of the discussion is available online.