Updated on 17 November 2012
"We instigated an inquiry because of concerns that New Zealand has lost its advantage as a good place to carry out clinical trials. Most submissions we received backed this view and called for improvement. The main elements of the system can be put right at almost no cost, and we believe the returns for New Zealand patients, the health service, and the economy will be significant," says Dr Hutchison.
Dr Hutchison, who has more than 30 years of experience as a health professional, has worked as a specialist consultant both in public and private sector and was a founding director of one of New Zealand's first high technology day stay facilities.
He grew up in Wellington and went to Victoria and Otago universities for higher education. A specialist in obstetrics and gynecology, he did his post graduation at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, US, and National Women's Hospital, New Zealand. He has also worked in the UK, Papua New Guinea, Samoa and the UAE apart from New Zealand.
In 1999, Dr Hutchison was elected as member to the New Zealand Parliament. Currently, he is part of foreign affairs, defence and trade as well as the Emissions Trading System Review Committee, along with being the chair of the Health Select Committee.
Triggering a change
Dr Hutchison said that the inquiry, which concluded in a report recommending changes in the clinical trials industry, began when he noticed that the Australians had initiated a task force on clinical trials in 2010 with the aim to provide the best opportunity for clinical trials in the Australia.