Australian-first website to connect more patients with clinical trials

Summary media release information

Date: 
20 May 2015
Type: 
Joint Ministerial Media Release
Contact for further information: 
Minister Ley’s Media Contact: James Murphy – 0478 333 974 | Minister Macfarlane’s Media Contact: Kylie Barron – 0408 508 673

THE HON SUSSAN LEY MP
Minister for Health
Minister for Sport

THE HON IAN MACFARLANE
Minister for Industry and Science

In an Australian-first patients will be given access to potentially life-saving clinical trials at their fingertips with the launch of an online one-stop shop today.

Minister for Health Sussan Ley and Minister for Industry and Science Ian Macfarlane said it will be easier for patients across Australia to take part in innovative medical research as the Abbott Government launched an Australian-first website today – International Clinical Trials Day.

Ms Ley said the website would help boost patient participation following data that indicated just under half of all Phase Three clinic trials conducted in Australia did not meet their patient recruitment targets.

“Clinical trials are an essential part of ensuring that the life-saving treatments and drugs we use are safe and effective,” Ms Ley said.

“This Australian-first one-stop shop of information relating to clinical trials marks a significant milestone in the Australian Government’s $9.9 million commitment to accelerate clinical trials reform and improve access to critical treatments and therapies.”

Ms Ley said participating in clinical trials offers patients access to new trial therapies, offering them hope at a time when other avenues may have already been exhausted. Not being able to recruit enough participants is considered one of the main reasons for a seven per cent decline in the number of trials conducted in Australia from 2012 to 2013.

“This reform will provide Australians right across the country, including regional and rural patients, greater access to clinical trials and will help to improve health outcomes,” Ms Ley said.

Minister Macfarlane said in addition to offering easy access to information about the trial, who can enrol, and what is required of patients, the tool also puts patients in contact with the head researcher with just one click.

“For trials to be scientifically rigorous, they need the involvement of many patients and this online tool will make it is easier for patients to be aware of the trials available across Australia, and how they work,” Mr Macfarlane said.

“This website also responds to calls from researchers and the clinical sector to include new e-learning modules to help both consumers and researchers to better understand how the clinical trials system works.”

This initiative is a result of a strong and collaborative effort between the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Department of Health and Sport, and the Department for Industry and Science.

For more information visit: www.AustralianClinicalTrials.gov.au.