The Medical Technology Association of Australia has welcomed the recognition of the importance of clinical trials and R&D in the 2018-19 Budget.
The Budget included a range of measures in support of investment by the medical technology and broader life sciences sector, including the decision to exclude spending on clinical trials from the new $4 million cap on the refundable component of the R&D Tax Incentive.
It also included an additional $6 billion for health and medical research, including $3.5 billion for the National Health and Medical Research Council, $2 billion in disbursements from the Medical Research Future Fund and $500 million from the Biomedical Translation Fund.
The Australian-based medical devices industry employs around 17,000 people and engages in an extensive range of R&D activities. The number of Australian-based clinical trials involving medical devices has grown from 119 to 160 in the past three years.
According to MTAA CEO, Ian Burgess, “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."
He continued, “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.”