The Australian Government is preparing to invest A$100m ($68.7m) in new clinical trials to improve the health of the country’s people in rural, remote and regional areas.
The government will increase the clinical trial participation under the ‘Rural, Regional and Remote Clinical Trial Enabling Infrastructure Program’.
Through this programme, the government aims to overcome the clinical trial participation flaws by enhancing clinical trial facilities, equipment and other associated systems in the rural and remote regions of Australia.
Furthermore, the programme will reduce the burden, trial costs and risks for patients related to clinical trial participation. It also aims to increase research capacity in clinical trials.
Member for New England Barnaby Joyce said that many constituents in these regions, which span across 66,000km², are unable to be a part of clinical trials as they are associated with barriers such as distance, geographical isolation and a limited workforce.
Joyce further added: “Australia is a big country and we relish it because of the fact, especially here in the New England, but we are always striving to achieve better and deliver more services for regional and rural areas like our own.
“These clinical trials are a huge step forward for our nation and show that our government is working hard to provide world-class health services to all Australians, no matter where they live.”
Funded under the Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF), the programme ensures patients’ accessibility to clinical trials where they live.
Australia Health Minister Greg Hunt said that the investment would save and protect many lives.
Hunt further added: “Clinical trials are a significant contributor to advancing new drugs, medical devices and treatments.”