MTPConnect welcomes Budget

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MTPConnect – the Industry Growth Centre for medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceutical (MTP) sector – has welcomed this year's Budget.

"The budget is well positioned to provide major new investments in manufacturing industries and cutting edge research infrastructure, as well as strengthening Medicare and providing support for the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS), hospitals, increasing mental and preventative health measures, and welcome investment into clinical trials and medical research," it said in a statement.

"These investments are set to provide a welcome boost to the MTP industry in Australia, assist with advanced manufacturing capacities, and leverage Australia’s unique advantages as an international destination for clinical trials to provide economic benefits not only to the sector but the Australian economy."

It welcomed the first grants made under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) and the new five-year strategic agreement between Medicines Australia that will see a portion of $1.8 billion in PBS savings reinvested in new medicines.

"The relationship will provide stability for the sector, encourage investment in local R&D and clinical trials, with the promise of any new PBS pricing policies to be consulted with the sector before implementation," it said.

According to MTPConnect CEO, Sue MacLeman,  “It is heartening to see funding being allocated to the sorts of important initiatives, like the MRFF and advanced manufacturing, that are driving the success of our sector – increased investment in clinical trials, research translation, working towards policy stability, and taking breakthrough innovative research through to proof-of-concept.

“We are excited to be involved in an important time of innovation and growth in the sector, with such dedicated Government support for medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals in Australia.

“As outlined in the MTPConnect Sector Competitiveness Plan, the MTP sector is in a significant position of having the ability to provide up to 28,000 jobs and cumulative GVA of $18 billion over a 10-year period, as well as produce important innovations to improve and save the lives of not just Australians but individuals across the globe.

“This budget is evident of the Government’s continued support for the MTP sector in Australia and recognition of its importance – shown through the establishment of the targeted Industry Growth Centre. We look forward to continuing our close work with sector participants and industry bodies, and the Australian Government, to take full advantage of the significant opportunities provided.”

Dr Bronwyn Evans, chair of MTPConnect, said, “The task of MTPConnect is to seize the opportunities created by our world leading research into medical technology, biotechnology and pharmaceuticals, and the 2017 budget provides welcome and necessary measures to ensure our vision of transforming Australia into the Asia-Pacific and international hub that it has the potential to be.”