Leukaemia Foundation

Leukaemia, Lymphoma, Myeloma & Related Blood Disorders.

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Commitment to ensuring the Clinical Trials Action Group recommendations are implemented in full as soon as possible.

The issue

A thriving and vibrant clinical trials program in every treatment centre, enhances medicine for everyone – patients, health professionals, researchers, students, government, health care funders, and industry. Red tape is reducing the attractiveness of Australia as a venue for clinical trials and threatens the future of clinical trials in Australia.

It is a great concern for the Leukaemia Foundation that as a consequence, Australian blood cancer patients are missing out on accessing trials and new therapies.

What we know

  • Our patient surveys demonstrate one of the most effective ways for people to access new targeted therapies not yet available on the PBS, is through clinical trials.
  • Although Australia is only a small part (1-2%) of the global pharmaceutical market (Medicines Australia Facts Book 3 p.54), it is attractive for clinical research because of its internationally recognised strengths - the high quality of medical practice and clinical research environment, and a good health system which is well integrated with health and medical research, education and training.
  • A clinical trials survey (Clinical Trials Action Group Report (2011)Clinically competitive: Boosting the business of clinical trials in Australia) showed patient recruitment delays in 90% of industry sponsored trials in Australia indicated that more efficient and effective recruitment strategies are essential.
  • Clinical trials are research activities involving humans so safety and ethical considerations make the governance of trials complex.
  • In June 2010, a government report by the Clinical Trials Action Group made six recommendations to the then Minister to improve clinical trials in Australia. These were to:   

- improve the timeliness of ethics and research governance review; 

 - provide for cost recovery of efficient clinical trials;

 - ensure clinical trials can take advantage of the developing e-Health system; improve patient recruitment;

- facilitate better national coordination and greater collaboration across clinical trials networks; and

- progress key clinical trial issues.

  • These reforms aimed to ensure patients receive high quality, better coordinated, and sustainable health care in the future.
  • Efforts to implement all six recommendations need to be recharged.

The current status of the recommendations can be found here.

Election commitment sought

Enhance existing systems and capacity to establish a national clinical quality registry for blood cancers in the next term of Government.

Next action: Accelerate the development of a national e-clinical quality registry for blood cancers.