Australia is set to develop the National Clinical Trials Governance Framework in an effort to increase the number of trials conducted in the country and provide potentially life-saving treatments and medications to patients.

The framework is intended to facilitate the integration of trials service provision into routine hospital care. It is expected that the latest reforms will boost patient access to treatments.

Australian Commission on Safety and Quality in Health Care launched a public consultation earlier this month to collect information for supporting the creation of the framework.

The consultation involves a series of stakeholder workshops to be held until 22 March this year.

Australia chief medical officer Brendan Murphy said: “The Clinical Trials Governance Framework is the first step toward accrediting health services undertaking clinical trials.

“Our high-quality clinical trial sites have been attracting companies from across the globe for over three decades. To build on this success, Australia must build on its reputation for quality trials and reduce the variation between sites. The framework will position Australia to be a preferred destination for clinical trials.”

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The commission’s chair Villis Marshall said that the reforms will enable better outcomes for patients while supporting the wider medical sector.

Marshall added: “Researchers will gain global recognition for their work and improve their technical skills, while industry will thrive from rising international R&D expenditure and the decline in the so-called ‘brain drain’ of highly qualified Australian researchers seeking opportunities overseas.”

Clinical trials in Australia target a variety of therapeutic areas such as cancer, infectious diseases, cardiovascular disorders, respiratory conditions, mental health and central nervous system diseases.