Clinical research and trials in Australia and New Zealand

Clinical research and trials in global health contribute to the development of effective treatments and interventions for global health challenges, such as infectious diseases and non-communicable diseases, improving healthcare access, outcomes, and equity on a global scale.

Clinical research and trials in the Australia and New Zealand region offer foreign companies an opportunity to collaborate with local institutions, tap into diverse patient populations, access high-quality healthcare infrastructure, and gain regulatory approvals, enabling them to expand their market reach and accelerate the development of innovative medical interventions.

ARCS Australia and NZACRes have signed an MoU to collaborate and share information to support clinical trials in both countries. This agreement create a mechanism for joint activity and sharing of knowledge particularly around education.

In this Global Health Talk Dr Shanny Dyer, CEO ARCS Australia and Dr Meghan McIlwain, President, The New Zealand Association of Clinical Research (NZACRes) discuss the clinical research environments in both countries,

ARCS is an Australian based professional organisation which focuses on career long professional development for its members in the therapeutic goods sector. ARCS provides education, competency building and information sharing within communities of practice, and targeted advocacy and collaboration with a range of stakeholders.

NZARes is a professional association for clinical researchers, and was formed to foster and promote clinical research in New Zealand.

Dr McIlwain talks about New Zealand having a straightforward regulatory and ethics approval process for clinical trials, and with Australia’s medical research infrastructure and similar standard of care to New Zealand, it makes it easy for organisations to work seamlessly across both countries.

In this Global Health Talk, Dr Shanny Dyer, CEO ARCS Australia talks about building competency frameworks for therapeutic development. Announcements were made to attendees at its recent major annual conference in Australia for industry, regulators, and clinical colleagues to discuss important issues.

The conference also discussed the need to review the Health Technology Assessment (HTA) process and National Medicines Policy, which are crucial for the development of therapeutics.

Other highlights from the conference included Australia’s efforts to streamline HREC approval and increasing patient ethnic diversity in clinical trials, with a focus on innovative ways to communicate the importance of clinical research to potential participants.

Across Tasman Sea, the biennial conference for clinical research in New Zealand is happening after a four-year hiatus. As mentioned by Dr Meghan McIlwain, in attendance will also be representatives from ARCS.

Clinical trials continued in Australia and New Zealand during lockdown, thanks to collaboration between industry and government, allowing the region to attract trials from other countries.

Both Dr Shanny Dyer and Dr Meghan McIlwain stress how New Zealand and Australia being an attractive countries for clinical trials due to active medical research groups, strong health systems, and diverse patient populations.

As Dr McIlwain states, “Our diverse and altruistic patient populations in this region are open to clinical research, which offers access to new patients and R&D tax incentives for sponsors, while ensuring top quality healthcare and high standards at clinical sites”.

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